Each of the Councils responsible for the compilation of the SWDP (Worcester City Council, Wychavon District Council & Wyre Forest District Council) will be meeting at the end of September to seek approval to delay the Publication version of the SWDP Review until later next year. However, a further opportunity will be provided for consideration of only the main changes to policies and site allocations from the Preferred Options in another round of consultation to take place in early Spring of 2021.
This will allow time for consideration of the implications of the recent Government White Paper on planning reform, Planning for the Future (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future). The contents propose wide sweeping changes to the planning system in England, to both the local plan process and how planning applications will be dealt with. It is being described as a major overhaul of the planning system and following careful consideration of the proposals the three local authorities are preparing a joint response to the White Paper for the end of October 2020.
Also, the SWDP website has been redesigned to make it simpler to use and navigate around as well as archiving a significant amount of material relating to the adopted SWDP examination prior to 2016. This will be going ‘live’ shortly, and a link to the new site will be provided. It is hoped that it assists in understanding the process and finding relevant information more easily.
Should you have any further queries on this please direct them to your ward member or officers in the Policy Plans team at Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon District Councils.
Work has been progressing throughout the summer finalising the policies and site allocations to be included in the Publication version of the SWDPR with the steering group of councillors, the Joint Advisory Panel, and officers have been meeting to discuss changes and amendments.
However, whilst the first confidential draft of the Publication version of the SWDPR will be completed next month, unfortunately the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review timetable needs to be adjusted in order to progress a number of technical assessments. These include transport and air quality modelling (to satisfy the concerns made by statutory consultees) which had not been possible under Covid-19 conditions.
Over the coming months the necessary monitoring, modelling and assessments will be undertaken, and officers will work to ensure that, as far as is within their control, that there is no further delay to the programme. Without this work being completed there will be substantive risks to the plan were it to be submitted for examination as per the current timetable and officers are drafting a revised timetable (Local Development Scheme) for councillors to consider in the early autumn. It should be noted that local planning authorities across the country are facing similar issues in respect of their local plan production.
Briefly it is proposed that the SWDPR pre-submission plan will be published with supporting evidence, subject to approval by all three South Worcestershire Councils, in October 2021 and submitted to the Secretary of State for examination in February 2022. The expectation is it will then be examined before the end of 2022 and adopted shortly after. This proposed change to the timetable will be considered by all three South Worcestershire Councils at meetings of Council in September 2020.
Anyone having any further queries on this should direct them to your ward member (District Councillor Tony Rowley) or officers in the Policy Plans team at Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon District Council.
As part of the ongoing Review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), the South Worcestershire Councils are conducting a Call for Sites inviting landowners and/or their agents/developers to submit land for a potential large-scale Country Park site.
The South Worcestershire Councils are required to plan, monitor and manage the delivery of at least 13,957 additional new dwellings across the plan area to 2041. The addition of the new dwellings would increase the population by approximately 32,195. This will undoubtedly put additional pressure on existing beauty spots and Sites of Special Scientific Interest including the Malvern Hills SSSI, Worcester Woods Country Park, Broadway Tower, Croome Court and a number of other popular leisure destinations.
In order to reduce this pressure from increased footfall in the future damaging these important assets, the SWCs are aiming to facilitate the delivery of a new large-scale leisure destination in the form of a Country Park.
The site for a new Country Park would ideally need to be a minimum of 50ha in size, with direct and safe access on to the public highway and would preferably be on a bus route.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 24th July 2020, after which Officers will assess submissions to determine the suitability of the land as a potential allocation for a Country Park in the SWDP Review.
Further information, including the Country Park Call for Sites Submission Form, can be found on the SWDP website using the following link - https://www.swdevelopmentplan.org/?page_id=15761.
Please note if you have submitted a site / land in the past through the SHLAA / SHELAA process or through the Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Call for Sites process you need to submit the information again as this Call for Sites exercise is specific to identifying potential Country Park sites and not housing and employment sites or renewable and low carbon energy projects.
If you have any queries on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the SWDP team by telephone on 01368 565 565 or by email at email@example.com
The South Worcestershire Councils (SWC) i.e. Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon started a review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) in late 2017. This is in line with new Government requirements that local plans should be updated every five years, and therefore a revised SWDP is required by 2021. The review will provide an updated plan period to the year 2041.
The South Worcestershire Development Plan Review Preferred Options document has now been published and was out for consultation, which closed at 5:00pm on Monday 16th December 2019.
You can review the full document at:
However, this link takes you to a long and complicated document. You may find it preferable instead to download the summary leaflet at:
Planned New House Building
In summary, the Preferred Options document sets out how a Government requirement to build another 14,000 new homes across Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon by 2041 will be met. This is on top of the need for 28,400 new homes by 2030, more than half of which have already been built, set out in the current plan.
Planners have assessed more than 900 sites put forward for potential development against a range of technical criteria and have made a series of recommendations about the most sustainable locations.
• A new town at Worcestershire Parkway delivering 5,000 homes by 2041, with the potential for another 5,000 after that
• A new town at Throckmorton Airfield delivering 2,000 new homes from 2030 with the potential for further expansion in the future
• An expanded settlement at Rushwick delivering 1,000 new homes from 2030 once a new railway station has been secured
• Plans for 810 new homes on various sites around Worcester, 730 at Droitwich Spa, 200 in Evesham, 880 in Malvern, 600 in Pershore and 60 in Tenbury Wells
• More than 900 new homes earmarked for villages across Wychavon and 390 within Malvern Hills District
On top of this, the document contains plans for providing another 273 hectares of employment land to allow for the growth of businesses and job creation. The vast majority, 140 hectares, has been allocated within Wychavon with 55 hectares planned for Malvern Hills District. Another 70 hectares is planned to be split between the three major proposed development sites at Worcestershire Parkway, Throckmorton and Rushwick.
In case you are wondering how this plan might affect Charlton, we can confirm that Charlton has been classified as a Category 4 village, i.e. a village which is defined in the SWDP Review as:
‘Settlements in this category either have access to some secondary facilities / services but limited or no bus service provision or have low or medium level of public transport provision but low services / facility provision.’
The development strategy focuses on towns and category 1-3 villages and category 4 villages are not viewed as sustainable. Furthermore, development boundaries have been removed on Category 4 villages, making development there more difficult.
In contrast, Cropthorne has been classified as a Category 2 village, and is likely to receive some small housing developments, but Fladbury is also classified as Category 4.