Worries over 'creeping urbanisation'

January 04 2022
Worries over 'creeping  urbanisation'

Parish councillors fear “seemingly relentless” planning applications will lead to “creeping urbanisation” in their village.

Members of Whittington Parish Council have increasingly aired their concerns in the wake of applications submitted while major development continues nearby under the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

That includes new housing at Whittington Walk.

Parish council chairman Steve Burrows said: “One of the unique features of Whittington village is its semi-rural nature, a little bit of green lung right next to Worcester city.

“The last 10 years have seen the gradual – and, in the case of large estates of hundreds of houses, not so gradual - erosion of our countryside environment and its wildlife.

“We are also very conscious of the plans under SWDP 2 to build thousands of houses and industrial estates right up to junction 7 of the M5 and on to Whittington parish, destroying more of the beautiful countryside that is accessible from Whittington.”

He added: “The parish council are alarmed at the seemingly relentless planning applications to build on green spaces in the village which, whilst often small and individual, are having the effect of a creeping urbanisation when taken as a whole.

“We fear that, soon, Whittington will become just a suburb of an urban sprawl that spreads from Worcester to Pershore.

“We look for support from Wychavon planning committee in preserving the village aspect of Whittington and will be scrutinising applications very carefully in future.”

The parish councillors have objected to a planning application for two self-build dwellings in Church Lane, saying the site falls outside the designated development boundary for Whittington and so is considered open countryside.

They added that the site falls within a designated “significant gap” and its development would cause “an unacceptable loss of open green space”.

The proposals would generate a number of additional vehicle movements at peak times and exacerbate traffic issues already experienced in Church Lane and at the Whittington roundabout, they said.

They also objected to an application for a detached bungalow on land off School Walk, saying the scale of the proposed building was too large for the site and would be detrimental to the character of neighbouring listed buildings.

They added that the access road serving the proposed new property would be difficult to negotiate and because there were no footways pedestrians making their way to and from Whittington Church of England Primary School would be vulnerable to vehicles passing by.

The parish council’s vice-chairman, Steve Brooker, Said: “It’s just too narrow.

It’s busy with kids all day really, not just school opening times. The lane is just not suitable. The access just isn’t suitable.”

What do you think? Is “creeping urbanisation” a cause for concern? Email southworcestervoice@gmail.com.