Mayor urges townsfolk to take a closer look at Raven Hotel development

DROITWICH Spa mayor, and district councillor Bob Brookes has organised a public display of plans for the development of the town's16th century Raven Hotel, following concerns that people may not be aware of the recent changes in proposals for the site.

Plans have been put forward to demolish all the later additions to the core grade II listed building, in order to create a mixed-use redevelopment including 51 dwellings, as well as commercial space and landscaping.

Nearby residents have voiced concerns over a variety of issues raised by the plans including the proposed removal of a four metre tall leylandii hedge on the border of the property between it and a neighbouring retirement home, which currently provides a visual and noise barrier for residents, as well as the number of dwellings being proposed and how close they are to the neighbouring buildings.

Droitwich Town Council added its objection, saying: “The town council recommends refusal of this application as it wishes to see a more impressive and inspiring design for this prestigious development. This is an important building of major historic value sited in an prominent location in the Conservation Area and the design is poor. The development is not considered to be sympathetic to the street scene(for example the use of red brick is deplored). There also needs to be adequate car parking which will not inhibit the use of the restaurant facility.”

English Heritage also commented on the proposal to demolish the latter additions to the building.

A letter from Katriona Byrne, inspector of historic buildings and areas, said: “The proposal is to demolish all the post-1884 parts and some of the 1883-4 sections amounts to a very large degree of demolition of this nationally-important building and while there is much scope on the site for demolition we do not support the amount proposed.”

It continued: “The proposed front row of housing has several elements that are out of character with the local architecture of the conservation area and would benefit from revision.”

The letter ended: “If you are minded to grant the application then we would object to it in its current form.”

Town mayor Councillor Bob Brookes has arranged the public display at the Tourist Information Centre in St Richard’s House, until Friday, June 27, and is asking Droitwich residents to take a good look at the plans and provide their feedback on the questionnaire forms provided, to be sent on to Wychavon District planning department.

He said: "I personally have grave concerns that the plans that were shown by the developers at a public consultation some time ago have now seen considerable alteration. The revised drawings are difficult to interpret to see the full impact of the proposals, and many local people are likely to be totally unaware of their existence.

"Whilst I welcome the redevelopment of this area in general, I feel there should be a further period of public consultation, and discussion with the architects, with full plans on display."

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