A new six-week consultation is today launched to give people the chance to have their say on the latest and, it is hoped, final proposed changes to the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).
The SWDP is being jointly prepared by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council to guide economic and housing development in the area to 2030.
The Plan is currently the subject of an Examination by a Government-appointed Inspector, Roger Clews, who has carried out a series of public hearings, intended to ensure the Plan is legally-compliant and sound. These hearings have fed into the proposed “Main Modifications” which are now being consulted on.
Full details of the proposed Main Modifications and the consultation are now available at www.swdevelopmentplan.org.
The consultation is only seeking views on the new proposed Main Modifications, not the SWDP as a whole.
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 rises of 100 to 500 at Cheltenham Road and 200 to 250 in Abbey Road, both in Evesham. Recent planning approvals granted outside the SWDP process have also been taken into account in the total housing numbers.
The majority of the other proposed Main Modifications are of a technical nature.
Councillor Melanie Baker, who chairs the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “This may be the last public consultation to be held for the SWDP. The consultation gives residents the chance to raise any points on these latest Main Modifications which they believe are new or untested. Following this consultation we hope the Inspector will take the view that the Plan is sound so that the councils can move on to its adoption.”
The consultation runs until 5pm on Friday, 20 November.
The Main Modifications document and the consultation response form can be downloaded at www.swdevelopmentplan.org.
Printed copies of the Main Modifications can be viewed and consultation response forms can be collected at local libraries and customer service/contact centres at Worcester (The Hive); Malvern; Upton upon Severn; Tenbury Wells; Droitwich Spa; Evesham; and Pershore.
Completed consultation forms can be emailed to email@example.com or posted to South Worcestershire Development Plan, Policy Plans Team, Housing and Planning Services, Wychavon District Council, Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 1PT.
The results of the consultation will feed into the Inspector’s final report, which is expected to be published early next year, if no more hearings or modifications are required. It is hoped that the three councils will formally adopt the Plan shortly after that.
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.