A final set of proposed changes to the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) have today been published by the three councils preparing the blueprint to guide economic and housing development in the area to 2030.
The SWDP is currently the subject of an Examination by a Government-appointed Inspector, Roger Clews, who carried out a series of public hearings earlier in the year, intended to ensure the Plan is legally-compliant and sound. These hearings have fed into the proposed “Main Modifications”, published by the councils today at www.swdevelopmentplan.org.
Later this month each of the three councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon – will vote to agree to hold a six-week public consultation on the proposed Main Modifications. This will give local people a chance to have their say on the proposed changes to the Plan.
The number of dwellings required to be built under the SWDP was increased to 28,370 last year in the first phase of the Examination. These latest proposed Main Modifications leave that number unchanged.
However, it is now proposed that some housing sites are removed from the Plan. These are the former playing fields site in Green Lane, Malvern, and, a number of small sites in Worcester, including Claines Recreation Ground in Worcester.
Some other sites have had changes proposed to their housing numbers, including a reduction from 200 to 190 at the Crown Packaging site in Worcester, an increase from 596 to 750 at Worcester’s Shrub Hill Opportunity Zone and a rise of 100 to 500 at Cheltenham Road in Evesham. Recent planning approvals granted outside the SWDP process have also been taken into account.
The majority of the other proposed Main Modifications are of a technical nature.
Councillor Melanie Baker, who chairs the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “The testing of the SWDP through the public hearings has proven that our approach and the Plan’s strategy are essentially sound. We now need to focus on making a series of largely technical policy changes, and I would urge south Worcestershire residents to make their voices heard in the upcoming consultation on these latest Main Modifications. We will then reach the stage when the Inspector can formally judge the Plan and the councils can move on to its adoption.”
Malvern Hills councillors will be asked to agree to launch a consultation on these latest proposed Main Modifications on September 22. Similar meetings will be held by Worcester and Wychavon councillors on September 30.
If approved, the new consultation will run from 9 October to 20 November and will only concern the changes now being proposed.
Details of how to take part in the consultation will be available at www.swdevelopmentplan.org.
The results of the consultation will feed into the Inspector’s final report, which is expected to be published early next year. It is hoped that the three councils will formally adopt the Plan shortly after that.
The 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 being jointly prepared by the three partner councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon.