Development of South Worcestershire - Droitwich Standard

A few days ago the latest consultations closed on a debate that has been going on for many months - where to put the new houses over the next twenty years that the government says we need to build, set out in the so-called South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy.

Although planning is a matter for councillors not MPs, because the strategy will determine what our county is like to live in, it is an issue that dominates my daily postbag and one in which I am taking a keen interest.

Last week I met members of Droitwich Spa Civic Society to discuss their concerns about yet more development to the south of the town, and then North Claines Parish Council to discuss their concern that dramatically increasing the size of Fernhill Heath could literally ruin the village

There is a very real danger that all this development will simply create one big urban area as Fernhill Heath merges with Worcester and Droitwich spreads south.

We do need more housing locally – an ageing population living in smaller households means we will need more homes to house local people.

However, the government is saying we must also house large numbers of incomers to the county. To make matters worse, they won’t say how all the infrastructure to support these new homes will be provided – and there’s a huge funding gap.

Local councils are doing their best to involve local people in the decisions, but local communities should be given a much greater say over how much development we need and where it takes place. It’s local people who know best what is needed, and it is they who will suffer if central government gets it wrong.

Sadly those much needed changes will have to wait for a change of government – I just hope it’s not too late for the south of Worcestershire.

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