Homes plan hangs in balance

First published in News by

PLANS for development in Upton-upon-Severn over the next 20 years could be sent back to the drawing board.

Under the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – a work-in-progress document mapping out future growth for the area – the waterside town is earmarked for 50 new homes by 2030, spread across sites at Holly Green and Hyde Lane, in Tunnel Hill.

However councillors and residents from Tunnel Hill feel these allocations are in the wrong place and that there are better options available.

Members of Upton Town Council have been talking with councillors and officers at Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) and believe they may be able to get Upton’s housing options put on hold.

Key to this is the fact that flood plain maps for Upton have not been updated since new flood defences at New Street and Waterside were completed.

This could see Upton singled out as a “special case”

as the SWDP progresses towards examination in public and official adoption next year.

At Upton Town Council’s meeting, deputy mayor Paul Bennett said such measures still needed to be passed by elected members at MHDC but that he was “hopeful”

this would occur. Speaking to the Gazette, Coun Bennett said: “We need to find out where exactly development is possible in the town now that the defences are built.

We feel it would be premature to decide anything at this point.

“We are working with Malvern Hills to find a solution that is in the interests of the local community.”

News of the potential for a rethink has been welcomed by residents in Hyde Lane, who formed an action group and gathered more than 100 names on a petition in response to 18 homes being earmarked for that area.

They believe two sites in nearby Welland Road, which Upton Town Council has been examining with a view to providing affordable housing, are the perfect fit for Upton’s housing allocation.

Spokesman Graham Mealand said: “A logical solution seems to have been identified to justify the inclusion of the Welland Road sites. We are very cautiously optimistic.”

Mike Morgan, who represents Upton on MHDC, believes the Welland Road sites are “more logical” than those currently being considered and that brownfield land could still be identified in the town itself.

“I think we would then look to Upton Town Council and Ripple Parish Council to come forward with proposals to address the 50-property requirement,” he said.

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