EVESHAM’S Mayor has raised concerns about a major housing blueprint for the area and warned the town’s problems cannot be fixed with an ‘elastoplast’.
Coun Fred Kaler spoke to the Observer as a six week consultation into the final proposed changes to the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) was launched on Friday (October 9).
Last week Wychavon councillors unanimously approved changes to the South Worcestershire Development Plan which saw an extra 150 homes added to Evesham’s housing plans in the next 15 years.
But Coun Kaler has raised concerns about whether the town can cope with hundreds of new homes with schools, doctors surgeries and roads already under pressure.
Thousands of new homes have already been built, with more planned, and the town’s Mayor is has called for today’s issues to be resolved before residents will fully get on board with the SWDP.
“I’m deeply concerned along with many residents of our community regarding this plan as we have recently taken our fair share of major development,” Coun Kaler told The Observer.
“If we continue looking to the future and ignoring problems of today such as sewage, flooding, schools, medical practices, transport, local employment and on top of all that we have major traffic problems throughout the town.
“Also the fact we are heading into an abyss of problems in caring for our elderly and vulnerable members of our community of all age groups.
“Until we get the needs of our community together with plans that are geared to our needs, then we will never get our community to fully support the plan.
“Any discussions for the future must and should run along side of the needs of our community today.
“We must never ignore today’s problems by fixing it with Elastopast,” he added.
The SWDP is currently the subject of an examination by a Government-appointed Inspector, Roger Clews, who has carried out a series of public hearings, intended to ensure the Plan is legally-compliant and sound.
These hearings have fed into the proposed ‘Main Modifications’ which are now being consulted on.
Coun Melanie Baker, who chairs the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “This may be the last public consultation to be held for the SWDP.
“The consultation gives residents the chance to raise any points on these latest Main Modifications which they believe are new or untested.
“Following this consultation we hope the Inspector will take the view that the Plan is sound so that the councils can move on to its adoption.”
The consultation runs until 5pm on Friday, November 20.
Visit www.swdevelopmentplan.org for more information on the consultation.