Call for Ketch homes designs to be revised

September 09 2021
Call for Ketch homes designs to be revised

A decision on granting planning permission for a controversial housing development scheme on the fringes of St Peter’s was deferred.

Members of Worcester City Council’s planning committee asked for revisions to be made to the design of 92 affordable homes at the Ketch field in Broomhall Way.

The plans had been submitted by Rooftop Housing Association.

During the planning committee meeting where they were discussed, St Peter’s ward councillor, Conservative Steve Mackay and St Peter’s parish councillor David Saunders voiced their reservations over the scheme.

Alan Coleman of the city council’s planning team said the committee had previously granted planning permission for housing development on the site, which had hosted car boot sales for several years.

The latest application was for seven three-storey apartment buildings with the rest two-storey three and four-bedroomed properties.

He explained there would be footpath provision and crossings of the A38, reduced speed along Taylors Lane and closing off (access to) Taylors Lane from Norton Road.

He said: “We can see that there’s been considerable objection from neighbouring residents.”

In public representations during the meeting Mr Saunders said: “I think the initial feeling by the parish council questioned suitability of this site for housing at all, mainly from reasons of access and safety.”

He added: “I think we’re also concerned about the pollution levels, the noise levels, mainly regarding the dual carriageway, the roundabout, where heavy vehicles are gearing down and accelerating away again.”

Regarding the design, he said: “I think there is little imagination and initiative been shown in the development of the housing designs, which, sadly, is not a rare occurrence.”

Joe Bennett, planning consultant with RCA Regeneration, said: “We do appreciate the concerns of the parish and some neighbouring residents in terms of the building heights.

“The site’s been described as a sort of semi-rural edge. This isn’t the case. The site forms part of a two a half thousand home urban extension – we must view it in this context.”

He added that the principle of development on the site had been set by the previous outline permission.

Cllr Mackay said that if the scheme went ahead the first impression visitors driving in from the southernmost point into the “heritage city” of Worcester would be “waiting by a large roundabout next to a  housing development”.

He added: “I appreciate that the aesthetics of developments are an individual matter but in this instance I cannot see how anyone could form a different opinion in that I only see featureless blocks.”