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Worcestershire is under attack from developers and the communities threatened by their proposals must stand united in resistance
That is the message Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff will take to Hindlip and Martin Hussingtree Parish Council this evening, Friday, when he meets them to discuss proposals for a massive housing development at Copcut.

Peter will say,

“Yes we need more houses in the county. We need more affordable houses for younger people and we need more houses as people live longer and in smaller households. But we don't need all the developments planned for the areas around Worcester.

“There are major housing plans not just for Copcut, but also for Yew Tree Hill in Droitwich, for Fernhill Heath to help pay for the huge sports centre, for Bevere and for the land near the Ketch roundabout to the south of Worcester city.

“The two biggest problems I see are the overdevelopment of the Droitwich area, putting unacceptable pressure on town's hard-pressed facilities, and the coming together of Worcester, Fernhill Heath and Droitwich in a massive urban sprawl.”

The preferred options for development are due to be published by the three South Worcestershire district councils (Wychavon, Worcester and Malvern Hills) as part of the South Worcestershire Development Plan in September 2011. There will then be an extensive consultation before the final plan is agreed and adopted in Spring 2013. Although not a legally binding document in planning terms until its adoption, the evidence base that informs the preferred options consultation will provide strong grounds to resist development in areas not identified in those options.

Peter will explain,

“This is a dangerous moment. The welcome changes to planning law that will end top-down control from Whitehall and Birmingham have created a small window of opportunity for developers to crawl through. Until we have a properly planned five year land supply identified, these opportunistic land-grabs will be made by desperate house builders.

“But come September, with the publication by the three district councils of South Worcestershire of their preferred options for new housing sites in the South Worcestershire Development Plan, it will be much harder for developers to ride roughshod over local opinion.

“So my message to local communities is this - "Fight the sites you do not like and contribute to the consultation on the options for the future".

“When the local consultation on the options begins in the Autumn, people and councils can have their say in a proper democratic process. Until then, when invited to do so by their town or parish council I will join any community in the fight against the undemocratic imposition of massive developments.

“And of course, if a local council thinks, on balance, a particular development is the best way forward, I will be guided by their views. As a democrat who believes in localism I will always be guided by the views of local councils expressed through their representatives at parish, district and county level.”


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