23rd Oct, 2016

Housing plan 'not fit for purpose'

Evesham Editorial 6th Feb, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE SOUTH Worcestershire Development Plan is not fit for purpose and fails to meet the needs of the people, according to Pershore’s Labour parliamentary candidate.

Daniel Walton attacked the planned housing after he said there was an agenda to create more unaffordable properties in rural areas where not enough was being done for Malvern people wishing to step on to the housing ladder.

“As building begins around West and South Worcestershire, in predominantly rural areas, we can already see housing being built is being built for the benefit of land owners and developers as opposed to matching the needs of people living in areas

where open space is becoming patches for expensive four or five bedroom homes,” he said.

“The shortage of affordable homes strikes at the very heart of what is required to sustain the social and economic well-being of small and large rural communities. However, simply deciding to build more houses will not necessarily be the answer.

“We need to ensure that all new housing is affordable and built in the right areas where there is a housing need.”

But Coun Melanie Baker, portfolio holder for planning at neighbouring Malvern Hills District Council, has hit back at Mr Walton’s claims and called them ‘ill researched’ and ‘frankly inaccurate on many levels’.

She said: “The two most alarming comments are that the SWDP fails to address affordable housing and there will be no investment in infrastructure as part of it. These two facts are quite plainly wrong.

“The plan is about economic development and seeks to provide appropriate, affordable homes for families so they can remain in the area they were raised in.

“This includes the roads and local facilities needed to support this.”