Development plan hearing details confirmed

DETAILS of the latest public hearings in the ongoing examination of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) have been confirmed.

The hearings will take place at County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, on March 13 and 14, starting at 10am on both days.

On the first day the inspector carrying out the examination, Roger Clews, will consider the number of houses needed in south Worcestershire by 2030.

On the second day he will turn his attention to how much retail provision will be needed in the next 16 years.

Speakers at the sessions have already been invited by the inspector, but the hearings will be open to members of the public to watch.

Councillor Judy Pearce, who chairs the South Worcestershire Joint Advisory Panel that leads work on the SWDP, said: “Everyone involved in the SWDP is keen to make progress on this vital plan as soon as possible, so I am pleased that the inspector has confirmed details of these hearings so quickly.”

The hearings come after the three partner councils in the SWDP - Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council – submitted additional information to the Inspector at his request.

This was based on updated estimates on likely economic growth and job creation across south Worcestershire up to 2030 and included a suggestion that between 26,700 and 27,300 dwellings will be needed by 2030. This is an increase on the 23,200 figure in the plan submitted to the Government last year.

The SWDP will guide south Worcestershire’s economic and housing growth over the next 16 years and, when adopted by the three councils, will form the basis for planning decisions across the region.

The Inspector has already confirmed that he supports the SWDP’s proposed use of 280 hectares of land in south Worcestershire for employment.

Once this first stage of his examination is satisfactorily concluded, the Inspector is likely to call a second phase to consider where the new homes and businesses are to be built.

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