Have your say on sites for travellers in south Worcestershire

South Worcestershire residents can have their say on a vital issue connected with the newly adopted South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) when a consultation opens on March 14.

Residents and other interested parties are being asked for their views on the provision of sites for travellers and travelling showpeople.

The consultation runs for six weeks at while printed copies of the consultation documents and forms will be available at libraries and council contact centres. There will also be a series of public drop-in sessions when staff will be on hand to answer queries.

The SWDP has recently been adopted by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council and includes policies aimed at boosting the local economy and delivering sustainable development.

The three councils have prepared a Development Plan Document setting out proposed locations for pitches for travellers and travelling showpeople, to be provided over the next five-ten years, as required by national planning policy.

As part of the SWDP process, the three councils carried out an assessment of the need for travellers’ pitches and asked for suggestions for sites where pitches could be accommodated. Seventeen sites were put forward, but not all were considered suitable.

Up to 2021, 25 new pitches need to be provided and seven south Worcestershire locations are being proposed. These include existing travellers’ sites at Hillbee Farm, Upton-upon-Severn; The Orchard, Knowle Hill, Badsey; Blossom Hill, Village Street, Aldington; The Laurels, Kemerton Rd, Bredon; and two locations in Cropthorne, at Seven Acres, Main Road and Evergreen Bank, Main Road. A new site is proposed at Crossway Green, near Stourport, where temporary planning permission is already in place for a travellers’ site at Shorthill Caravan Park.

To meet the longer term need for pitches, the SWDP includes two possible sites within the Worcester “urban extensions”, due to be built on the southern edge of the city at Broomhall and Norton Barracks and at Temple Laugherne on the western edge of Worcester.

Residents can find out more about this consultation at public drop-in sessions running 2-8pm on the following dates:

  • March 17 – Cropthorne Village Hall
  • March 21 – Hartlebury Village Hall (covering the Crossway Green site)
  • March 23 – Badsey Memorial Hall (covering the Aldington and Badsey sites)
  • March 31 – Bredon Village Hall
  • April 5 – The Hill Community Centre, Upton-upon-Severn

Councillor Melanie Baker, who chairs the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “Providing sites for travellers and travelling showpeople is vitally important as we work to deliver the South Worcestershire Development Plan, so I would urge people to make their voices heard on this essential issue.”

Three more consultations are also expected to be launched in coming weeks, once they are approved by all three south Worcestershire councils. These will concern affordable housing policies, developer contributions towards infrastructure and a Community Infrastructure Levy that would be applied to certain types of development.