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Planning

 

The Work of the Planning Sub Committee

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The Society's Planning Sub Committee (PSC) tries to encourage good planning design for all developments in the Malvern area. It meets on the last Wednesday in each month at the Great Malvern Hotel and reviews new planning applications made to Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC). We appraise the details of a selected few that have a particular significance because they are in a conservation area, relate to listed buildings or tree preservation orders or because they are likely to excite widespread community concern. 

 

PSC members assess applications for good design principles and compliance with local and national planning policies. A high proportion of applications are accepted without comment, as might be expected since they have already been vetted by the planning authority. We always try to involve experts in the Society who have professional expertise in this area. 

 

Occasionally, the PSC objects to an application. In such cases, the committee submits a comment (known as a"representation") to the council planning department recommending refusal. We have a good relationship with councillors and officers and our opinion is usually taken seriously. 

 

Our discussions are not confined to planning applications. We are concerned with anything which affects the town. I am grateful for the diligence of committee members and for the constructive debate we have had. It is a team effort. New members interested in discussing local planning matters will be always welcome. Please contact me by phone or by email


Overview of discussions at the Planning Sub Committee October 2018

North East Malvern/Newland site
This proposed development seeks outline approval by MHDC planners for "up to 800 houses" and "detailed approval for access arrangements from Worcester Road (A449)/Townsend Way". Several versions of the proposals have already been seen during the past three years for the layout of the site. Plans include commercial and retail facilities, a public house, residential homes and a care home, a community centre and police post, recreational facilities, open space and playing fields.  The access arrangements hinge on detailed proposals for a signalised gyratory system based on the site of the existing roundabout on the Worcester Road. There is now no provision for a primary school, promises for which were deleted at an early stage in the development of this outline plan. Since the 'gyratory' will be the sole entrance/exit to the site, the access to the development appears to be a focus for severe traffic congestion, particularly at peak periods. Careful examination will need to be given to the traffic analysis supporting the application. PSC will keep this application on continuous review.

Former Malvern Community Hospital
A controversial planning application earlier this year proposed the demolition of the much loved former Malvern Community Hospital in Lansdowne Crescent and its replacement with a 46 bed care home. The application was approved, but followed earlier rejected plans for a slightly larger care home. Now, surprisingly for some, the developer has submitted a proposal for a 5 bed addition to the existing 46 bed plan, to be achieved by remodelling of internal structure. External elevations remain unchanged except for the addition of 2 new doorways. PSC speculations are that the incremental number of 5 bed units proposed by the amended application were a reserved proposal at the time of the original application for 46 bed units. PSC regret the proposed variation but considered that a representation for refusal would have no viable reason under present planning authority policies. No PSC response to the now amended application is planned.

Land at Guarlford Road/Chance Lane - Malvern Hills Trust (MHT) access easement

PSC understand that a developer intends to apply to Malvern Hills Trust (formerly Malvern Hills Conservators) for an easement over MHT land. If successful, the easement would allow the developer access from public highways to greenfield land that has potential for very large scale housing development. MHT have responded to concerned local residents about the easement application and have posted a document on MHT webpage dated 29/08/2018, setting out their policy. PSC/MCS are keenly aware of the adverse impact on the environment that the development might have and have written to MHT in strong terms, questioning the legalities of a grant of such an easement.

GM 270818

Comments to planning@malverncivicsociety.org.uk

 

Graham Myatt.

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Malvern's Council House, once the home of one of the Doctors who promoted Malvern's Water Cure in the 19th Century, ©Malvern Civic Society/Kevin Brewer

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