‘Misleading claims’ on homes bid spark row between council and housebuilder - The Evesham Observer

‘Misleading claims’ on homes bid spark row between council and housebuilder

Evesham Editorial 30th Jul, 2017   0

AN ANGRY war of words has erupted after furious Pershore council chiefs slammed a housebuilder for ‘misleading’ residents at an exhibition on plans for new housing in the town.

Town Council bosses launched a stinging attack on Lioncourt Homes and claimed the developer misinformed residents who viewed proposals for 150 new homes north of Defford Road.

However, Lioncourt Homes defended their approach and said they were surprised at the council’s allegations.

The row emerged after a consultation at Pershore Town Hall last week where the developer showcased its plans which also include a new timber-framed community building and even possible land for additional burial grounds after Lioncourt Homes said the current cemetery was full.

Their claim provoked an angry response from town clerk Ann Dobbins who slammed the developer for the ‘misinformation’ presented to local residents.

“Residents were advised the Town Council cemetery is full and the proposed extension could not be undertaken because the council are not permitted to develop the field due to the archaeology. This is untrue,” she said.

“The Town Council has planning approval for all or part of their land to be used as a cemetery and whilst there were some archaeological finds this does not prevent the field being used. Additionally the current cemetery is not full.

“Residents were also advised the Town Council cannot re-use graves as residents are ‘in uproar’ about it.

“The Town Council does have a policy of offering graves in the oldest part of the cemetery, with no grave owner, to residents who may wish to be buried in this section.

“If they prefer not, they are buried in a new grave in another area of the cemetery.”

Mrs Dobbins said councillors were concerned by the information presented and also criticised the developer for claiming the council was not against the proposals.

“In fact the council has made no comment, as is their policy, and will not do so until they are formally consulted on a submitted planning application.”

In response, Vicky Bilton from Lioncourt Homes, said: “We have presented the proposals to the Town Council which has made clear it will only comment formally once an application has been submitted.

“At this point the Town Council is neither against nor in support of the application.

“We are fully aware the Town Council has planning permission for a new cemetery and there have been some archaeological finds on the site.”

“We have suggested land for burials could be included in our proposals – as a possible alternative – but only if the Town Council and community feel this is a better option.

“Since the exhibition the Town Council has reiterated the burial ground is not full.

“We apologise for any misunderstanding but would be happy to include land for future burials in our proposals.

“We are surprised by the suggestion residents have been misled. As an established and award-winning Worcestershire-based developer, we take our responsibilities to local communities very seriously.”


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