By Carl Jackson 23/08 Updated: 30/08 17:11
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 80 homes in Catshill have been reluctantly approved by the district council, despite fresh concerns it will increase flooding.
The proposal, which comprises 32 affordable homes and an apartment block on the land at Church Road, was finally granted permission by the planning committee on Monday (August 20).
The application had been changed and resubmitted by developers CALA Homes following the committee’s decision to throw it out May, due to concerns some new homes were too close to current houses in Catshill and design fears.
At Monday’s meeting, council officers rebuffed new fears the development would increase flooding on the land which is already considered high risk.
They said committee members were not required to talk about the issue because it was not stated as a reason for refusing the designs last time round.
Coun Ruck said: “We are concerned about it because it is a known flood plain.
“We were reluctant, but we have to take the views of officers who have had the benefit of talking to specialists.”
Several members also expressed concerns the apartment block was still unsuitable for elderly people. The council’s urban designer criticised it for being the furthest building away from the land’s main proposed entrance and being accessed by steps. Coun Ruck also claimed alterations meant council tenants would no longer have access to a lift, unlike private tenants, which he deemed ‘unacceptable’.
Due to annual changes to the members on the planning committee, different representatives gave CALA the original outline permission to build on the land - a point highlighted by the current committee members.
Coun Ruck said he and his fellow colleagues felt, because that had happened, they had no real option but to approve the latest development.
However he admitted the resubmitted plans were a great improvement and was optimistic for the completed development.
James Brogan, district councillor for Catshill said: “Catshill Marshes is an integral part of our village.
“We don’t want this development and it will destroy the area forever.”
Imir Frazer of the Catshill Marshes Action Group (CMAG) which has opposed building on the land all along, believes the planning committee could have handled the application differently.
“They should have taken flooding into account when they approved the outline application.
“The developers have got measures in place but not enough has been said about how they are going to deal with it.”
The group’s application for the marshes to obtain village green status represents their last hope because it would block the development, but that decision is months away.
A CALA spokesman said they were delighted the £4million development had gone through and construction would create hundreds of jobs.
He added “We acknowledge the concerns of the site’s neighbours on the issue of drainage and we will continue to address this with the Environment Agency, and we look forward to continuing to work with our neighbours and the Catshill Marshes Action Group as the development proceeds.”
THE CHIEF Executive of NHS Worcestershire, Eamonn Kelly
A MAN has been left with a broken
A VAN and car were stolen from a
A GROUP of gardeners from Bromsgrove have raised
PLANS to build 200 homes in Webheath have been thrown ...
YOUNGSTERS in Bidford were banking on people's generosity to help ...
ONE OF Worcester's most historic buildings has been brought back ...