The South Worcestershire Councils (SWC) i.e Malvern Hills, Worcester and Wychavon started a review of the SWDP in late 2017. This is in line with new Government requirements that local plans should be updated every five years, and therefore a revised SWDP is required by 2021. The review will provide an updated plan period to the year 2041.
As part of the preparation of the SWDP Review, a strategic assessment of the Green Belt has been conducted. Part 1 of the Green Belt Study assesses land against the five purposes of the Green Belt as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Green Belt is divided up into 60 land parcels which lie within five broad areas which are: land to the east of Stourport-on-Severn; land between the A442 and M5; land to the east of the M5; land to the south of Redditch; and land between Droitwich Spa and Worcester. Each of the 60 parcels was tested against the Green Belt purposes using information gathered from site visits. Parcels were then graded/categorised depending on the degree to which they make a contribution to the purposes of the Green Belt. Only one parcel of land makes a limited contribution to the Green Belt. The second stage of the study will look at whether there is any planning justification of removing any of the land parcels from the Green Belt.
Part 2 looks at the sites which were promoted within the Green Belt and assessed the degree to which releasing them would impact on Green Belt objectives as set out in the NPPF.