Decision to be made on city edge homes

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Thursday, September 16th, 2021 6:38pm

By Christian Barnett - Local Democracy Reporter

A new attempt will be made to get approval for a controversial plan to build affordable housing on the site of a former city car boot site next week.

The proposal by developer Rooftop Housing would see 92 homes built on the former Ketch car boot site next to the A4440 Southern Link Road in Worcester.

The plan was deferred over concerns about the design of the development’s three-storey apartment block after councillors heard there were a long list of objections.

Developers have now made minor design changes in the hope they will be enough to see the plan go through.

Worcester City Council’s planning committee meets next Thursday (September 23) to decide on the plan.

When the plan was last discussed in July, Cllr Andy Roberts was particularly critical calling the design “wretched” with St Peter’s councillor Steve Mackay saying the apartment block would present a negative image to visitors coming into and going out of the city.

A long list of objections were registered with Worcester City Council during public consultation with St Peter’s locals and parish councillors in Kempsey saying surrounding roads were inadequate to cope with the planned number of homes and local schools would not be able to manage.

A petition with 55 signatures against the plan was also submitted.

St Peter’s Parish Council said the design of the homes were “poor” and was concerned about the noise and pollution for future residents.

Planning officers at Worcester City Council have again recommended the plan is approved by the committee having made the same suggestion at the meeting in July.

A report, due to be discussed by councillors at the planning committee meeting next week, said: “As amended … the proposed apartment buildings would be acceptable in terms of siting, size, scale, mass, design and appearance.

“The apartments would be set back from Broomhall Way to the north and Bath Road to the west behind a 12-to-15-metre-wide landscape buffer in the form of an acoustic bund, which would partly screen and shelter the development.

“This is a key landscape feature that would help to mitigate the visual impact of the proposed apartment buildings, particularly as the proposed landscaping matures.”

If approved, the homes, which would form one part of a huge urban extension, would be built between the busy Broomhall Way and Taylor’s Lane next to another Rooftop Housing site and a St Modwen site which was backed by Malvern Hills District Council’s planning committee earlier this year.

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