By Rob George Friday 14 September 2012 Updated: 14/09 11:59
DROITWICH’s MP Peter Luff has launched a savage attack on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ planning policies which he claims will cause ‘chaos’ across Wychavon district.
The Mid-Worcestershire MP said it would be virtually impossible for local planners to refuse permission for a developer to build houses anywhere in Wychavon unless the government changed national planning rules urgently.
He told The Standard the situation had arisen because the Government believed there was a shortage of supply land when the real issue, according to the MP, was a shortage of demand for houses.
And this week has seen developers Barberry Droitwich Ltd resubmit revised plans for 500 homes at Yew Tree Hill, despite planning chiefs vowing to block any proposals for the land earlier this year.
The revised plans now boast 300 less homes but the 220 bed care home which was orignally proposed remains as do new proposals for a pub, restaurant, fast food takeaway and indoor bowling alley.
Campaign group Save Our Green Open Spaces (SOGOS) blasted the plans and said: “SOGOS still feels passionately that any development of any size is inappropriate on Yew Tree Hill.
Mr Luff said communities from Wychbold to Bretforton and Honeybourne were already suffering as a result of the situation facing Wychavon District Council.
“Bizarrely, this is because the government is forcing councils to apply polices it is trying to abolish, and these same councils
are being held to account for things they have no power to achieve.
“And to add insult to injury, the houses built as a result of all this would be unsustainable, breaking one of the fundamental
planning principles of the government.
“This situation is straight out of Alice in Wonderland and getting curiouser and curiouser the more I look at it.
“The government is absolutely right to seek new ways of encouraging economic growth, but if building houses were the answer to a maiden’s prayer when it comes to growth, then Spain and Eire would be booming, not bust,” he added.
Wychavon’s Executive Board member for Planning, Coun Judy Pearce, wrote to planning minister Bob Neill to explain how the authority tried to meet demands in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) despite the Government’s desire to scrap the
Under the RSS, Wychavon would need to provide permissions for and see more than 1,000 homes built a year to meet its five year target.
“This level of housing building has never been seen before in this District. The highest build rate was 771 dwellings in 1997/8, with an average completion rate of 436 dwellings over the past 16 years,” she added
Residents can comment on the revised plans for Yew Tree Hill until October 4. Visit www.saveyewtreehill.org.uk for more information.
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