5th Dec, 2016

Town councillors slam proposals for 380 homes off busy road

Rob George 16th Oct, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

ANGRY Evesham councillors have slammed proposals for 380 homes in a picturesque area of the town.

Council chiefs on Evesham Town Council’s Planning and Estates committee met on Monday (Alan Booth) to discuss the application by Hallam Land Management for 380 homes and other associated infrastructure.

As well as the new homes, up to 2,500sq metres of business land will be provided as well as open space for sports and children’s play areas and a community orchard.

The developers also hope to improve cycle and pedestrian access as well as create new vehicular and pedestrian access off Abbey Road.

But committee chairman Coun Alan Booth dismissed the proposals and called for them to be thrown out by the town council.

“If they want reasons for refusal straight away, they can have the fact the people of Evesham don’t want this development,” he said.

His comments were echoed by Coun Colin Tether who said he found the nature of the proposals ‘extraordinary’.

“There is simply insufficient infrastructure in place for a development on the scale being proposed. It’s going to harm the town too much,” he added.

Coun Richard Jones said: “I think the plans for a community orchard have been put in as a carrot to dangle in front of us, but even that will create more congestion.

“It’s a part of the town that must be protected as much as possible.

“As soon as this goes, all the other land going all the way up to the by pass will be taken up for housing,” he warned.

Evesham Mayor Coun Fred Kaler also spoke out against the plans and labelled them ‘disasterous’ for the town.

“Until we sort out the infrastructure in this town we are simply wasting our time even considering applications like this,” he said.

Coun Ken Barclay, who also serves on Wychavon District Council, said any application would not be given approval until major traffic work and infrastructure improvements were made, work he claimed could ‘take decades’.

And his claims appear to be supported by traffic chiefs at Worcestershire County Council in a leaked e-mail seen by the Observer.

Highways chiefs appear to suggest the authority would resist any proposal which would see traffic access the site via Boat Lane because of the impact on the Merstow Green roundabout while propsosals for a new junction on Abbey Road have been labelled ‘not acceptable’.

The application will now be debated by Wychavon planning chiefs at a future meeting of the authority’s planning committee.