A MAJOR housing blueprint for Worcestershire which earmarks land for 28,000 houses up until 2030 has been given the green light by the planning inspector.
The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) sets out where houses can and can’t be built over the next 14 years across Wychavon, Malvern Hills and Worcester- the three councils will vote later this month to approve the blueprint after planning inspector Roger Clews published his final report backing the SWDP.
For Evesham, 1,400 homes will be allowed to be built on sites across the town under the housing plan, including 500 homes on Cheltenham Road and 400 on Pershore Road, Hampton.
But, the planning inspector has removed 50 homes from the Abbey Road allocation allowing ‘approximately’ 200 homes to be built after accepting criticism from Historic England about the impact the development will have on Evesham’s heritage.
In his report, Planning Inspector Roger Clews said: “Historic England objected to the proposed increase, pointing out that no full assessment of its impact on the heritage assets potentially affected had been made available to inform the consultation.
“That is a justified criticism, and accordingly I recommend that the indicative site capacity should remain at approximately 200 dwellings.
“The modified policy requires vehicular access to be provided only from Abbey Road, to ensure there is no unacceptable increase in traffic on other local streets.
“I observed traffic conditions on Abbey Road during the afternoon peak period, and witnessed some delays to southbound traffic at the Abbey Bridge traffic lights.
“However, I have seen no evidence to demonstrate that development here would make existing congestion problems in the town substantially worse.”
But Evesham councillor Ken Barclay has described the inspector’s comments on Evesham’s traffic woes as ‘silly’ and welcomed the reduction in housing on the Abbey Road site.
“That’s silly because the houses haven’t been built, no development has started yet so how can he say that,” Coun Barclay told the Observer.
“The inspector has taken note of what we’re saying, I’m pleased he has gone back to the 200.
“Although we won’t see where the 50 houses have been removed from until the maps are released.”