Planning decisions in Wychbold

Recent planning proposals for Wychbold have caused a stir in the local community. Last week I received a powerfully argued letter about them from the parish council and met a group of worried constituents in my Droitwich surgery, writes Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.

Planning is a complicated issue involving both local decisions and national policy. Itís going to be a challenging year as further proposals for development are made around my constituency. Almost very town and village is affected either by current applications or the proposals in the new local plan.

We have to build more houses locally to ensure our young people are able to get on the housing ladder. Thatís because an ageing population and smaller families means we need more homes just to stand still. But that development must happen in the right place. Thatís what the district council is working hard to achieve.

Worryingly, the unavoidable absence of a local plan for Wychavon has, until the new plan is in place late next year, put too much power in the hands of developers.

The consultation events for the South Worcestershire Development Plan, like the event in Fernhill Heath last week which I visited, have been very well attended. Iím pleased that local residents are keen to share their views about the developments that will affect them. Although the Ďpreferred optionsí consultation deadline is now very close, the next round of consultation on the plan itself comes next spring and gives local people another opportunity to get involved.

Development is a very tricky subject, but with a national housing shortage some tough decisions are going to have to be made about where to build new homes. It wonít be easy for Wychavon to please everyone, but their open approach will make sure their decisions are really well informed.


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