Green space left out of city’s planning blueprint - The Worcester Observer

Green space left out of city’s planning blueprint

Worcester Editorial 16th Oct, 2019   0

CONTROVERSIAL plans to use a historic green space in the city for new homes may have been thwarted after the area wasn’t included in a housing blueprint for the next two decades.

Land at Middle Battenhall Farm has been the subject of a tug of war between developers, city council chiefs and campaigners for five years but has been excluded from the South Worcestershire Development Plan for 2030 to 2041.

Council chiefs revealed their recommendations on Monday (October 14) and if approved by council chiefs next week, city residents will be asked to air the views in a wide-ranging consultation across south Worcestershire.

The site is home to monastic granges dating back to the 12th century but has been the target for developers since 2014.

Plans for 200 homes on the site were rejected in 2016 after a two-year fight between the developer, the city council’s planning committee and campaigners.

Coun Louis Stephen who represents Battenhall on Worcester City Council said: “I am very pleased neither Middle Battenhall Farm or the land off Evendine Close are in the proposed new plan.

“But the final plan will not be approved until early 2021 and we need to be vigilant that the developers do not try to sneak in these inappropriate housing schemes via the back door. The fight continues.”

“We need more affordable homes and I have long campaigned for more apartments to be built above city centre shops and higher density houses to be built near the city centre.

“Building large numbers of houses on the edges of the city with our rubbish public transport and inadequate investment in walking and cycling infrastructure is just a recipe for increasing the amount of cars coming into the city causing more traffic jams and worse air pollution,” he added.

Worcester will take more than 800 new homes between 2030 and 2041 according to the document which has proposed a new town close to the Worcestershire Parkway station with 5,000 new homes.

Council chiefs have raised hopes for another 1,000 new homes in Rushwick should a new railway station be secured for the village.

City councillors will consider the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday (October 22) and should the document be backed by their counterparts in Malvern Hills and Wychavon district, a consultation will begin in November.

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