10,000 had say on homes plan

First published in Cotswolds

CALLS have been made for a referendum on the future development of South Worcestershire – with proposals for more than 20,000 new homes attracting a wave of interest.

More than 10,000 people have had their say on a controversial development plan which maps out how the area will grow by 2030.

An entire list of all the respondents to the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) has now been published online, with many citing fears over congestion, a lack of Government cash to add to the infrastructure and places like Evesham becoming a “commuter town like Redditch”.

Plans are now being put in place to revise the target up to 23,360, with an updated version of the document going out to Wychavon District Council in July.

One of the responses, all of which are anonymous, said: “It is noticeable the SWDP is being called a ‘development plan’ and not an improvement plans.”

Another wrote: “This is precisely why major new development is unwelcome – if there is already insufficient funding to deliver improvements to key infrastructure, the plans for new housing must surely fail the test of sustainability.”

Another said it felt like “a sales pitch” and called for a “local referendum” to get feedback from more people.

The responses also included many backers of development, with some residents saying new housing was “a must” in terms of the county shaping its own destiny.

A favourable respondent said: “I agree a development plan is needed to prevent developers from unbridled building on any land they can get their hands on.”

In terms of the arguments over housing numbers, those who did mention figures called for anywhere from 7,000 to 55,000.

• A crunch vote on the development plan will take place on Tuesday, July 3, at at Wychavon’s headquarters in Pershore. The meeting is open to the public.

All 10,000 responses to the consultation can be viewed at swdevelopmentplan.org.

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