A FRUSTRATED Evesham councillor has slammed housing developers for creating a ‘hotch-potch design’ for up to 500 homes which will be built off Cheltenham Road.
Speaking before initial approval was granted for 460 homes off Cheltenham Road last Thursday, Coun Frances Smith blasted the Bloor Homes proposals together with the 47 homes being built by Newland Homes on the same site.
Bloor Homes submitted their proposals bid to demolish residential and agricultural buildings associated with Amberley Farm, build a new access road off Cheltenham Road and an emergency access from the road and A46 roundabout and create car parking to serve the town’s football club, open spaces and a play area, to planning chiefs at Wychavon District Council.
Coun Smith opposed the controversial plans and raised concerns about the access to the new estate for emergency services.
“I fear this service road being proposed could be become and unofficial car park for those visiting the site,” she said.
“Cheltenham Road is an extremely busy road and you are often at a standstill both there and on the A46. Further development will only exacerbate the traffic problems we already have in Evesham.
“Evesham has born more of its fair share of housing development recently, without more infrastructure in place we cannot absorb anymore.”
Her comments were echoed by Coun Gerry O’Donnell who said the amount of cars leaving the new estate would amount to ‘misery’ for local motorists.
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise when your car is at a standstill there is a problem,” he added.
Coun Keith Wright labelled the A46 a ‘disaster zone’ and said: “I think we are doomed on this one.”
“However the residents of Evesham need to understand that as committee members for us to vote against we would need material planning considerations to come into force.
“Unfortunately the developer has done a very good job in ticking all the boxes so it’s very difficult to say no. I would love to but unfortunately I have no evidence to do so therefore I will abstain from the vote.”
Jim Powell, chairman of the Vale of Evesham Civic Society and former planning consultant, addressed the meeting and highlighted the problems faced when Evesham United’s ground was built a number of years ago.
“One of the reasons we had to spend £300,000 on a roundabout was because we weren’t allowed to take another access off the road exactly where this road is going so somebody is shuffling the cards somewhere.”
Nick Rawlings from Bloor Homes, said he accepted the potential traffic impact had caused concern with Evesham Town Council as well as local residents.
“I can assure councillors why it has taken longer than we would have liked to bring this application to committee is due to the extensive and robust traffic assessment and mitigation concerns which have been to the fore.”
Nine councillors voted to approve the plans with two voting against and four abstentions.