A MAJOR housing development which has been given the go ahead in Fernhill Heath will put a ‘scar on the village’, a councillor for the area has claimed.
Coun Tony Miller spoke after Wychavon District Council’s planning committee approved the scheme for 120 homes off Dilmore Lane last Thursday (November 6).
The original application was approved in May, subject to the footpath being expanded to the minimum highways width of 1.2metres.
Developers Taylor Wimpey widened the path to 1.4 metres, but Coun Miller said he was not convinced the developers had achieved the goal set by the planning committee the last time it came before them.
“This is a day I have been dreading for many a year, since I moved into the village of Fernhill Heath over ten years ago but we are here today and here to discuss this site.
“The last time this came to the committee the goal was to achieve the right standards and the minimum standards but we have barely scraped it for the footpath.
“With one pushchair we have to get off the path to let them past, it is below the standards we would want.
“I am not happy with this.
“An old colleague of mine who used to sit in this chamber used to say it was a blueprint for a disaster, and I think that about sums it up.”
Committee members said they sympathised with Coun Miller, but felt they didn’t have valid grounds for refusal on the scheme as it complied with highways regulations.
Coun Ken Jennings said: “I have every sympathy for the concerns expressed by Coun Miller, however as he will know only too well we can’t use highways issues as a reason for refusal.
“We have heard this is a South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) recommended site, we have approved it before and regrettably I see no other option but to us confirming that decision today.”
Further proposals to build another 90 houses in the same village were, however, thrown out by councillors at the same meeting due to the site lying outside of the emerging SWDP.
The homes would have been built at the Worcestershire Hunt Kennels, Kennels Lane, but Coun Adrian Darby backed Coun Miller’s calls that the development was simply not needed.
A total of 12 members voted against the 90 homes, with one abstention, while the 120 homes were approved with 12 votes, one against and two abstained.