New housing proposal near Tiddesley Wood
Towards the end of 2019 the three South Worcestershire Councils – Worcester City, Malvern Hills District and Wychavon District – held a Preferred Options Consultation. This set out the initial housing allocations to be included in the review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan.
At the time, the proposal was for 450 homes to be built on a 26.27 hectare site off Defford Road next to Tiddesley Wood, with a large buffer zone to reduce the impact of development.
During the consultation concerns were raised by the public about the scale of the development and the impact on the wood. Similar responses were also received from organisations including Natural England and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.
A draft of the South Worcestershire Development Plan has now been published for councillors at all three councils to debate and decide if it is ready to go out to public consultation from the 1 November.
In it, a new proposal has been made which would see 112 homes built on a 6.29 hectare site on land south of the Holloway. This is not only a significant reduction in the numbers of homes planned but leaves an extensive gap between the proposed development and the wood. It is also nearer to existing housing so is more in-keeping with the area.
The Plan is still a draft and needs approval from all three South Worcestershire Councils before public consultation can begin. It will then go to examination by an independent planning inspector who will decide if the Plan can go forward to be officially adopted.
Cllr Aaron Powell, Executive Board Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Urban Design on Wychavon District Council, said: "We listened to what the public told us about development near Tiddesley Wood, we reviewed feedback from our statutory consultees and a new proposal has been made. There is still a long process to go through before this becomes an accepted site for development. Councillors still need to debate the Plan, there is a public consultation to come – subject to approval from councillors – and it still has to go through the examination process.
"Until the plan is formally adopted nothing is guaranteed, but I hope the fact changes have been proposed to the site near Tiddesley Wood proves the value of public consultation and that feedback given can and does make a difference."
Worcester City will consider the Plan on 17 October, Malvern Hills District Council on 18 October and Wychavon on 19 October.