Rejected homes plan back on the table

planning

By Christian Barnett - Local Democracy Reporter

A rejected plan to build more affordable homes on green space in Malvern has returned.

Malvern Hills District Council rejected a Fortis plan to build 23 homes on land off Pickersleigh Grove in Malvern earlier this year but the plan has now been put back on the table with two less homes.

The homes would go alongside 92 already-approved homes which are nearing completion.

A planning report, which set out the council’s rejection in February, said allowing the extra homes would affect the town’s “green heart.”

The report said: “The development of the site would adversely affect the spaciousness of the town’s ‘green heart’, reduce accessibility to open space of an informal rural nature and harm green infrastructure connectivity.”

Several objections to building the homes were raised during public consultation earlier this year.

Fortis had said that whilst green land should be protected where possible, it was outweighed by the need for more affordable housing in Malvern and was in a good location next to already-approved homes.

The neighbouring plan, also by Fortis, to demolish the existing buildings and build 92 homes was approved by council planners in 2014.

The old homes, which were built in the 1950s, were demolished in 2016 but work did not begin until August 2018.

Jill Tibble of Meadow Road, who has objected to the previous plans, again voiced her opposition.

“This application is a very slightly modified version of one which was refused in February which appears to differ only in a few tweaks,” she said. “The land the proposal refers to has not changed in its classification of green space and therefore I cannot comprehend why it should be approved.

“During the current lockdown, spaces like these are even more important. Please don’t allow this space to be built on; our green spaces are being eroded far too fast.”

Pickersleigh Residents’ Group said the council should not be setting a precedent for homes to be built on green space.

The group said exceptions had been made for the 92 homes plan but it should not be used as an invitation to build more homes on more green space.