New consultation opens on plan for future of South Worcestershire

A new consultation opens this week on the Plan that will guide South Worcestershire’s economic and housing growth until 2030.

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) is being jointly prepared by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council. Once adopted, it will form the basis for planning decisions across South Worcestershire until 2030.

Last month the three councils voted to proceed to submission of the draft SWDP to the Government, and on Friday (January 11) a new six-week public consultation opens – aimed at testing that the plan complies with the necessary legal requirements and is “sound”.

Councillor Marc Bayliss is Chairman of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, which includes councillors from each of the three councils working on the SWDP and also from Worcestershire County Council.

He said: “This consultation is not about the actual proposals in the Plan – so it’s not a chance for local people to suggest a new site for employment use or to call for homes to be built elsewhere.

“Instead it’s a chance for people to say if we’ve addressed the necessary legal and procedural tests. Have we got the evidence to back our proposals? Have we followed all the rules about how a Local Plan should be compiled?

“This is a final test of the robustness of the Plan before we submit it to the Secretary of State.”

This technical consultation will give local people and interested parties the chance to give their views on a range of important factors. These include whether the proposals in the SWDP can definitely be delivered, whether they are based on clear evidence and whether there have been appropriate opportunities for the public to give their views on the Plan.

It will also test that the SWDP complies with national guidelines and legislation, including the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, the Localism Act 2011 and the new National Planning Policy Framework.

Once this latest consultation is completed, the SWDP and the consultation results will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. This is expected to happen in April.

The Secretary of State is then expected to call an Examination in Public, chaired by an independent inspector, to examine the Plan.

That is likely to happen in the summer, paving the way for the SWDP to be formally adopted by all three councils by the end of 2013.

The consultation will run at, and printed copies of the consultation forms will also be available at council offices and libraries.

Responses can be made online at via the consultation portal. Completed forms can be sent to or posted to South Worcestershire Development Plan Team, FREEPOST RLTS-XRLK-AKGK, Orchard House, Farrier Street, Worcester WR1 3BB.

The Chairmanship of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel rotates among the three partner councils, and at the next meeting it will be proposed that Cllr Bayliss stands down as Chairman in favour of Cllr Judy Pearce of Wychavon.

What happens next?

  • 11 January – 5.00pm, 22 February 2013 – Technical consultation on the plan, to allow the public and others to give their views on whether the Plan is sound and complies with legal requirements
  • April 2013 – Draft Plan submitted to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  • June/July 2013 (TBC) – Examination in Public held by independent inspector
  • August/September 2013 (TBC) – Inspector’s report published
  • Late 2013 (TBC) – Adoption of SWDP by the three councils.

Notes to Editors

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) will provide a long term vision up to 2030 for South Worcestershire, with the emphasis on boosting the local economy and delivering sustainable housing development.

It is based on extensive evidence and previous consultations and has been jointly prepared by the three partner councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon.

The SWDP includes proposed policies for dealing with four broad areas:

  • Creating jobs and economic prosperity
  • Meeting housing needs
  • Transportation
  • The environment.

Details of the proposals are available at, where the full range of consultation material, including guidance notes and evidence, can also be accessed.

The proposals build on the work done between 2007 and 2010 on the South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy. The three councils decided to take a different approach when the coalition Government announced its proposed changes to the planning system.

Much of the research behind the Joint Core Strategy has been used in preparing the draft SWDP, but our approach to providing housing has changed and many of the proposed housing sites are now either smaller than previously suggested or have been removed altogether.

The new proposals differ from the Joint Core Strategy in several significant ways:

  • The focus is on supporting and delivering economic growth and jobs
  • Major economic initiatives include a Technology Park to the east of Worcester, near junction 6 of the M5, and major employment sites at Blackmore Park, Malvern; Vale Industrial Park, Evesham; the north east of Pershore; and at Midland Road and south of Warndon Wood in Worcester
  • A range of sites have been allocated for “mixed use”, where housing, employment, retail, leisure and other facilities sit alongside each other
  • Housing numbers are now driven by up-to-date assessments of local needs, not top-down regional targets
  • Approximately 23,200 homes are proposed, around 1,300 less than in the Joint Core Strategy, and with fewer completed each year
  • 42% of the homes required by 2030 have already either been built or given planning permission, or will be met by means such as  bringing empty homes back into use. That means that, in the 18 years remaining till 2030, locations only need to be found for another 13,400
  • More than half of the housing provision for the Worcester area will be met within the city, reducing the need for expansion beyond the city boundaries
  • Although extensions adjacent to Worcester are proposed, what used to be the largest site – to the west of the city – is now due to host only 975 dwellings, 2,500 fewer than were proposed in the Joint Core Strategy
  • In Malvern Hills and Wychavon, it is proposed to have a smaller proportion of new homes built at the main towns. There will also be new housing built in rural villages, with the aim of supporting the needs of the local population
  • The proposed Plan is evidence-based and has been subjected to a range of appraisals covering its sustainability, viability and necessary supporting infrastructure.

SWDP Targeted Consultation Events – Summer 2012

On 3rd July 2012 the three South Worcestershire Councils all passed the resolution that the proposed Significant Changes (as described by the Council Report and the accompanying Appendix 2) should go forward to a targeted consultation.

The targeted consultation will take place between 6th August and 14th September 2012 and will include a number of roadshow exhibitions across South Worcestershire. The details of the venues and dates for the three South Worcestershire Councils are outlined below. The accompanying consultation documentation is available to view and download online.

The scope of the targeted consultation will be limited to the Significant Changes proposed to the July 3rd Councils. As such any prior representations made on issues not being considered by this consultation are still “live” and will be taken into account in the preparation of the Pre-Submission Draft which, in turn,  will be considered by full meetings of each of the three Councils in November. This document, if accepted by the Councils, will then form the basis of the statutory Pre-Submission Consultation.

Click here to view SWDP Proposed Significant Changes Papers

SWDP Targeted Consultation Events – Summer 2012







Consultation START



AUG 10


AUG 13


4.00-8.00 pm 

AUG 14  AUG 15

4.00-8.00 pm

AUG 16


AUG 17

4.00-8.00 pm

AUG 20



AUG 21

4.00-8.00 pm  

AUG 22

4.00-8.00 pm

4.30 – 8.30pm

AUG 23


4.00-8.00 pm

AUG 24
AUG 27 

Bank Holiday

AUG 28  AUG 29

 4.00-8.00 pm

AUG 30

4.00-8.00 pm

AUG 31

4.00-8.00 pm 


4.00-8.00 pm 


4.00-8.00 pm


Consultation END – 5.00pm 


By Local Authority – Dates, Venues and Coverage

Worcester City

Location Date Time Venue Covering
Worcester 20 August 2.00-7.00pm Lyppard Grange Community Centre, Ankerage Green,Warndon Villages, Worcester WR4 0DZ Warndon
Worcester 22 August 4.30 – 8.30pm Tolly Centre,Rowan Avenue, Worcester, WR4 9QW Shrub Hill area
Northwick Farm & Gwillams Farm 23 August 4.00-8.00 pm Claines Royal British Legion Club Ltd Cornmeadow Lane, Claines Worcester WR2 6QR Claines, North Worcester Urban extensions
Worcester South Urban Extension 31 August 4.00-8.00 pm St Peters Garden CentrePear Tree Farm,Norton Road, Worcester, WR5 2NY Broomhall Community, Norton Barracks, Norton Juxta Kempsey, Kempsey Village

Malvern Hills

Location Date Time Venue Covering
Hallow 9 August 2.00-8.00pm Hallow Parish HallWR2 6PP Hallow
Upton-upon-Severn 10 August 2.00-8.00pm Memorial HallOld Street, WR8 0HA Holly Green; Ryall; Tunnel Hill, Kempsey
Martley 13 August 2.00-8.00pm Memorial HallWR6 6PQ Alfrick, Clifton-upon-Teme, Abberley Common, Great Witley, Lower Broadheath
Malvern 16 August 2.00-8.00pm Priory Lodge HallAvenue Road, WR14 3AF Welland, Alfrick, Kempsey, Malvern Wells, Lower Broadheath
Tenbury Wells 23 August 2.00-8.00pm Pump RoomsTeme StreetWR15 8BA Tenbury Wells, Clifton upon Teme, Clows Top, Bayton, Great Witley, Abberley Common
Powick 20 August 2.00-8.00pm Powick Parish HallMalvern Road,  WR2 4RT Powick, Colletts Green, Callow End


Location Date Time Venue Covering
Upton Snodsbury 13 August 4.00-8.00 pm Upton Snodsbury Village Hall, Church Lane,Upton Snodsbury, WR7 4NH Bishampton; Crowle;  Flyford Flavell; Inkberrow
Pershore 15 August 4.00-8.00 pm Pershore Town Hall34 High Street, PershoreWR10 1DS (Committee Rm) Cropthorne; Defford;  Drakes Broughton; Pinvin
Broadway 17 August 4.00-8.00 pm Lifford Memorial Hall24 Lifford Gardens,Broadway WR12 7BU Broadway
Droitwich Spa 21 August 4.00-8.00 pm Parish Centre, St Andrews Street, Droitwich WR9 8DY Wychbold
Honeybourne 22 August 4.00-8.00 pm Honeybourne Village Hall,Main Street, Honeybourne,WR11 7PQ Bretforton; Pebworth
Fernhill Heath 29 August 4.00-8.00 pm War Memorial Hall,73 Droitwich Road,Fernhill Heath WR3 8RJ Fernhill Heath
Evesham 30 August 4.00-8.00 pm Evesham Town Hall,Market Square, Evesham WR11 4RA (Main Hall) Cropthorne; Harvington; Sedgeberrow
Offenham 4 September 4.00-8.00 pm Offenham Village Hall,Main Street, Offenham WR11 8QD Cleeve Prior; South Littleton
Beckford 5 September 4.00-8.00 pm Beckford, Main Street Beckford GL20 7AA Ashton-under-Hill; Conderton; Overbury; Sedgeberrow

Important Notice – South Worcester Forum

South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – Preferred Options

We have become aware that some landowners and developers are undertaking their own consultation events during the South Worcestershire Development Plan Preferred Options (SWDP PO) consultation period.  Whilst the three South Worcestershire councils do not have any control over the matter we would prefer that these were held outside of the SWDP PO consultation period. Please be aware that planning and other officers from the three South Worcestershire Councils will not be formally attending these events and that we have not examined or endorsed the content of any exhibitions or presentations. Members of the public are, of course, free to attend any of these events.

One such consultation exercise that falls outside of the SWDP process is, for example, a master-planning exercise to the south of Worcester being conducted on behalf of Welbeck Strategic Land under the banner “South Worcester Forum”. 

We would strongly encourage you to attend the relevant SWDP PO consultation event(s) closest to where you live or work. A full list of the official South Worcestershire Development Plan consultation events where planners and other officers from the council will be on hand to answer questions in respect of the SWDP can be found here

Residents to have their say on the future of South Worcestershire

The people of South Worcestershire are to be given their say on proposals for how South Worcestershire will develop over the next two decades.

Draft proposals for the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), which will guide economic, residential and environmental change in the area until 2030, have been approved for public consultation by the three partner councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon.

Residents will be able to give their views when the eight-week consultation kicks off on 26 September.

The main focus of the consultation period will be a series of road shows that will be held throughout South Worcestershire. Residents’ groups, along with Town and Parish Councils, will be sent documents giving a summary of the plans.

In addition, efforts will be made to reach younger families, young adults and teenagers – groups who often don’t engage with formal public consultations but whose future may be affected by the proposals.

Councillor David Hughes, Chairman of the Joint Advisory Panel which has led work on the plan, said: “Too often people think that consultations are a toothless exercise, but we’re determined to show that we really want to listen.

“The South Worcestershire Development Plan will shape employment, housing and the environment over the next two decades. We want it to have a positive impact on the lives of local people, so it’s important they have a chance to influence the policies it contains.”

The draft Proposed Options for the SWDP are available now on each of the three councils’ websites and on this website

Ahead of the consultation in September, a more user-friendly edition of the document will be published with colour photographs and maps. A summary document will also be available, along with a printed response form. Residents will also be able to make their views know online.

Road show exhibitions will be held throughout the eight weeks of the consultation. They will take place across South Worcestershire, visiting all the main towns and larger rural settlements. Planning officers will be on hand to discuss the proposals with members of the public in detail.

The provisional dates for the road shows are as follows. These are all subject to confirmation nearer the time, as are details of venues