When will a decision be made on a controversial 220 homes bid for heart of Evesham? - The Evesham Observer

When will a decision be made on a controversial 220 homes bid for heart of Evesham?

Evesham Editorial 1st Apr, 2017   0

PLANNING chiefs have asked the developers behind a controversial application for hundreds of homes in the heart of Evesham for more time to make a decision on their plans.

Last December, Hallam Land Management submitted an application for 220 homes and 60 extra care units for land off Boat Lane to Wychavon District Council, and under planning law a decision has to be made within 13 weeks of it being submitted.

This meant a decision was due to be made by Tuesday (March 28), but planning officers and Hallam have signed an extension of time agreement which means a decision on the application now won’t be made until the end of June at the latest.

As the Observer has previously reported, the long-running saga over this piece of land first began in September 2015. That was when Hallam first submitted an application for the site to build up to 380 homes.

However, in February 2016 the South Worcestershire Development Plan was passed and states that only up to 200 homes can be built on land off Boat Lane.

As a result, a decision on that application was then pushed back six times and Hallam eventually withdrew it in January this year, just one month after they handed planners their revised application for the site, which still exceeds the SWDP allocation.

Evesham Town Council in January unanimously refused the revised application for 220 homes and 60 extra care units and branded it ‘not right for the town.’

Impassioned councillors also raised concerns about the impact the development would have on the town’s road network which is already ‘over-capacity.’

A spokesperson for Wychavon District Council said planning chiefs asked for more time as comments from highways had not yet been received, and their views are needed before a decision can be made on the application.

John Goodwin, from the Vale of Evesham Civic Society, said: “It is a pity that local people need to have this development proposal hanging over their heads.

“The old application, now withdrawn, for 380 house was submitted over 18 months ago. Now we have another slightly more modest application which probably will not be determined for a long time.

“We hope that when it does go to Committee, the Councillors voting will take the time to read all the objections. Local people must be permitted to properly voice their views at the meeting as this is such an important and historic location, so close to Evesham’s town centre.”

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