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Perhaps the most important local issues we face are where to put the new houses we need and how to support them with all the facilities they will need from roads to schools, says Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.

Peter is urging people to "get stuck in to the consultation that's going on now - and not to be put off by the jargon."

Peter attended the special consultation event at the St Peter's Garden Centre on Saturday, together with Councillor Rob Adams. The event is one of a series being organised to seek people's views on the so-called South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy.

Commenting, Peter said,

"The St Peter's event is perhaps the most symbolic of all those planned, because it stands on the crossroads of the three local authority areas involved - Wychavon, Worcester and Malvern Hills

"I urge you to get take real notice of two major pieces of planning going on at present - the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) and the South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy (SWJCS). They may sound technical and remote, but their implications for where we live are going to be huge.

Put simply, the RSS defines in broad terms where the land for new housing and jobs should be located in the counties and urban centre of the West Midlands and the SWJCS defines exactly where they will go.

"Wisely, the three councils have pooled their resources into developing a joint strategy. The RSS says we need a lot more houses - and that is right. As we live longer in smaller households, we do need more homes. There is also already a desperate shortage of affordable housing in South Worcestershire that does need to be addressed.

"Worcester has been designated as a growth area. And that means it will take a lot of these new homes - but so will Droitwich and Evesham. The problem is that Worcester is basically full, so its allocation will have to go around the city - and the St Peters/Norton area has been identified as possible location for 3,000 of them, with another 300 at Whittington and 3,500 in the Dines Green/Lower Broadheath area.

"If you didn't get along, there are other events organised and a good website at The consultation ends on 31st October. Now is the time to get your point of view across - your view on where the houses should go and also on the new roads, railway stations, bus services, sewage systems, water supply, schools and medical facilities that we will need to cope with this huge growth.

"I have pretty strong views on this subject, especially on providing the essential infrastructure to support the homes, and I've expressed them frequently. Now, though it's your turn. Please tell the planners what you think - you have until the end of October."


Photograph shows Councillor Rob Adams with Peter Luff MP at the exhibition at the St Peter's Garden Centre

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