The Malvern Civic Society (MCS) Planning Sub Committee (PSC) meetings routinely review live applications brought forward from previous meetings to see if there have been amendments and to respond appropriately to the planning authority if necessary.
Since our February meeting, five of the ‘live’ applications in Malvern have been approved by the Malvern Hills District Council. Notably, one application refused by the Council’s Southern Area Planning Management Committee (SADMC) was approved by the Planning Inspectorate following an appeal by the applicant. This application was for the demolition of a house in Victoria Road. The replacement will now be a block of 8 flats in a style which, in our opinion, will be discordant with its neighbours in the conservation area.
We were delighted to learn that the application to SADMC for alterations and improvements to the internal layout of Lansdowne Church and extensions had been successful. Members of the PSC were invited to visit the Church some months ago for a look around and discuss the applicant’s plans.
This month, there were 12 new planning applications to review and one that was originally submitted in 2015 and has just now been amended. This latter application is for the large site between the A449 Worcester Road and the railway line, with its access off the Newland Roundabout. This plan outlines proposals for a major development of 800 homes, with commercial and community buildings, sports facilities, playing fields and open space. The application includes detailed plans for reconstruction of the roundabout. There has already been much public scepticism about the forecast effectiveness of the roundabout design in managing future traffic flow into and out of the site and along the A449. The developers have previously consulted widely about the layout of the site and Malvern Civic Society representatives were involved at an early stage. Discussion on this amended application took up a major part of our meeting.
The issue of the new amendment was unexpected and among a number of other matters included the deletion from the outline plan of proposals for a primary school. The PSC opinion is that this omission of the school is harmful to the sustainability of the new community on both social and environmental grounds, through incremental effects on social cohesion and the burden of home to school journeys and traffic flow at the site access.
It follows that sustainable development, through imbalance of the economic, social and environmental, and social factors, will be obstructed contra to the needs outlined by the National Planning Policy Framework Paragraph 7.
On this basis, the Planning Sub Committee resolved to recommend to the Planning Authority that the amended planning application 15//01645/OUT be refused.
Graham Myatt, March 2017