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The Flyfords

Our Next Meeting: 12th July, 2022

Letter to North Piddle Residents 22nd March, 2019

22nd March 2019

Dear Resident,

It has come to the Parish Council’s attention that there are rumours of a development of up to 200 houses about to take place in North Piddle. Can I take this opportunity of assuring residents that this is categorically not the case. There is no consultation or planning application for any major housing schemes within our parishes at all.

So what is going on? In the past the Local Planning Authority, in our case Wychavon, has been obliged to undertake a survey of potential development land so that when it updates it’s policies it has an idea of the capacity the area has for development. Previously this has been a low key exercise that was done about every 10 years and received very little public interest. Recently the government has issued requirements that the exercise is done every five years and that the local authoritiesissue a method statement to show government and other interested parties how the review is conducted.

Wychavon have to update the South Worcestershire Development Plan by 2021, although the existing plan runs until 2030. Last year it issued a call for sites and invited anyone who had land, or knew of land, that they thought might be suitable for development to submit details for consideration. The consultation period ended in July last year and around October time Wychavon published a map on the internet showing where all these sites are. There are nine sites in our three parishes of which two are in North Piddle. One is adjacent to the A422 near North Piddle turn and the other is adjacent to Flyford Flavell behind the Flyford Arms.

I should point out that there is no public consultation at the moment and so although the parish council have noted the sites we have not offered any comment on any of them. Wychavon are currently carrying out a technical analysis of the sites.The public and parish council will be invited to comment this November and December when the technical appraisal has been completed.

In the past, a very high percentage of the sites have been discounted during this initial appraisal by the local authority. They are looking at technical issues such as access, drainage and flooding but also planning considerations such as planning policy and sustainability. Even if sites do survive the initial appraisal it does not mean by any means that planning permission would be granted. There are many more hurdles to jump before that happened.

In terms of planning policy, Wychavon, Malvern and Worcester do have to find sites for about 14,000 new houses between 2030 and 2041. For Wychavon that’s about 400 a year. At the moment the intention in Wychavon is to site new development in areas of greatest sustainability. In order to define which areas are seen as sustainable the towns and villages have been graded in a hierarchy. North Piddle does not even register as a village sois considered to be open countryside. This is the very lowest category of sustainability and under the present South Worcestershire Development Plan will not be considered for development.

If, following the initial appraisal, any of the sites within our parishes come forward for further consideration I can assure you the parish council will very actively follow what is going on. Our Wychavon approved Parish Plan and Village Design Statement actively seeks to maintain the character of the three parishes as they are and we have a very good track record over the past twenty years of opposing what we considerto be inappropriate development in our area.

If you would like to know more about the South Worcestershire Development Plan and its progress, there is a lot more information available on www.swdevelopmentplan.org including a map of the sites currently undergoing technical analysis by Wychavon and a timetable for the activities to complete the SWDP update. (Search for SHELAA for the map and check the “SHELAA locations” box to the right of the map, or select Timetable from the main menu.)

I hope this helps to allay any undue fears or worries about the planning process however please do not hesitate to contact me or our clerk, Mark Broughton Taylor, if you have any further questions.

Yours faithfully,
David Waide