Fears homes will put pressure on amenities
Members of Whittington Parish Council are sceptical that a hoped for car-free lifestyle for residents of planned new properties to be developed around the Parkway rail station will happen.
The councillors heard an update from member Jenny Knights following meetings with Wychavon District Council about the development, part of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).
She reported that there had been a virtual tour of a proposed “garden city”, with proposals still at the concept stage.
Whittington councillors felt the car-free aim would ultimately be unachievable and aired concerns over traffic and rat running, added pressure on hospitals and the introduction of an industrial estate in what was primarily a residential area.
Jenny Knights said it had been pointed out at the meeting with Wychavon that most of the 5,000 houses to be built would have two cars, people would use them and the infrastructure would be unable to cope.
She explained: “It was brought up again about how the hospital would cope with these new people,” adding: “It was pointed out there was no A&E in Pershore and you would have to come to Worcester.”
She said: “Questions were asked but not answered adequately, in my opinion.”
Whittington Parish Council’s vice-chairman, Steve Brooker, echoed her concerns, saying: “There are so many business parks between junction 6 and junction 7 and all the way down to Norton. It brings problems.”
He cited takeaways and rubbish being dumped and lorries coming off the motorway in the early hours of the morning.
He added: “It’s a SWDP by stealth.”
The parish council’s chairman, Steve Burrows, said: “It’s basically going to be joining Pershore to Worcester.
“People are going to carry on using the car.”
He said that in his personal view: “All we see is the green being paved over.”
He added: “It’s part of our role now to see what the public think about it.”
Members resolved to contact neighbouring parish councils to resume meetings to discuss the Parkway development.
Mr Brooker said: “The parish councils are not opposed to it. What they don’t like is the way they’re going about it.
“There are concerns such as industrial estates, hospitals and rat runs which they feel are not being addressed.”