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Ahead of the planning inquiry into two development applications at Yew Tree Hill in Droitwich Spa, local MP, Sir Peter Luff, has robustly opposed the development in a letter to the Planning Inspectorate.

Wychavon District Council opposed the proposals for 765 new homes and a 200 unit care home facility back in May, but the two developers have appealed this decision. An inquiry is due to start on 28th January 2014, where the Planning Inspector will consider all the evidence and then decide whether to uphold the council’s decision to reject the applications.

Peter wrote to the Planning Inspector in August 2013 setting out his opposition to the development but has written again to ensure that his views are taken into the inquiry.

Peter commented,

“I have always opposed this development as I strongly believe that it is not right for the town.

“In my two letters to the Planning Inspector, I have made several key points which explain why these proposed developments are completely unsuitable and inappropriate.

“First, the town is already rapidly expanding and the council have already approved another site off the A38 at Copcut, as well as further development proposed within the local plan. The town is therefore already responding and playing its part to reverse the national housing shortage by accommodating additional development.

“Second, in local development plan for the area, the South Worcestershire Development this very site was left out of the SWDP as it was deemed by the council to be unsuitable and unsustainable. To allow a development here undermines the development plan process that has been adhered to by the councils when creating the SWDP.

“Third, there is simply not the road infrastructure in place south of Droitwich for traffic going towards Worcester.

“Finally, the site at which these developments are proposed is a highly valued asset to the town. It is used by local residents as a recreational area and provides homes for many species of wildlife. If the development were allowed to go ahead the landscape would suffer demonstrable harm.”

Peter concluded his letter by saying,

“I hope that my submission will be taken as representative of my constituents who have expressed their clear opposition to this development. Every single one of the many representations I have received on this proposed development has robustly opposed it. The council’s decision to reject the application represents the clear will of the people and given that it is they who will be directly affected by the development, I urge you to respect that will.

“I am aware that public opinion is not considered a proper planning criterion. However, the overwhelming public opinion over this proposed development, coupled with the facts I have set out in this and my previous letter and that will be presented to you at the inquiry, would mean if you were to overturn the council’s decision to reject the application it would be a serious blow to people’s trust in our democratic system.”


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