These are the reasons why planning officers recommended approval of Boat Lane homes bid - The Evesham Observer

These are the reasons why planning officers recommended approval of Boat Lane homes bid

Evesham Editorial 14th Oct, 2017 Updated: 15th Oct, 2017   0

PLANNING chiefs have recommended a developer’s controversial bid to build hundreds of homes in the heart of Evesham should be approved.

As the Observer has previously reported, a decision on Hallam Land Management’s bid to build 220 homes, a care home and business use on land off Boat Lane is set to be made next Thursday bringing an end to the long-running saga.

In a report published on Tuesday, planning officers have recommended to councillors on Wychavon District Council’s planning committee that they should approve the application subject to the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement.

Detailed in the 45 page report are the reasons behind officer’s recommendations, as well as responses from highways, Historic England, the local flood authority and the emergency services.

Officers received 210 objections to Hallam’s application, mainly from town residents, and just one letter of support.

The report reveals how the application site lies partly within two flood zones. However, no houses will be built on the land within the floodplain.

In their response to the application, the County’s Highways Authority has not raised any objections. Highways have said the development will make accessing the town centre by foot or cycle ‘more attractive’ than a site further out of town and therefore the impact of additional vehicle traffic is’ likely to be less on the congested areas.’

The impact of the development has also been calculated into the long-awaited traffic study and highways officers have said the effect on the town’s road network will be ‘reasonable.’

Historic England have also raised serious concerns about the impact the Boat Lane development could have on Evesham’s heritage assets. The agency is particular concerned about Abbot Chyryton’s Wall that lies within the application site and features on the at Risk Register.

“The application does not reassure us as to how the conservation of its fabric will be secured,” Historic England said.

In their report, planning officers have also explained why they are recommending approval despite the application being over the ‘approximately 200 homes’ allocated for this piece of land in the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

“The proposal to provide up to 220 dwellings is generally in line with the site’s SWDP allocation for residential development meet housing need within the district,” officers said in their conclusion.

“The amount of development proposed is higher than set out in SWDP50/7 and includes a care facility and land for business use.

“However such development would be appropriate in such a location close to the town centre and the level of development proposed in total raises no significant concerns in terms of landscape/visual impact, design, effects on biodiversity, flood risk or drainage.

“The proposal offers benefits in terms of housing delivery, including affordable housing provision and housing to meet the needs of the elderly, as well as land for employment use.

“The proposal would have an adverse impact upon the significance of heritage assets. Whilst attributing considerable importance and weight to the harm, it is considered that it would be of a scale that is outweighed by the significance public benefits of the scheme.”

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