Stourport planning concerns on agenda with minister

PLANNING DISCUSSION: From left, Mark Garnier MP, Nick Boles MP and Rebecca Mayamn.

PLANNING DISCUSSION: From left, Mark Garnier MP, Nick Boles MP and Rebecca Mayamn.

First published in News
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Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

"SIGNIFICANT" Stourport planning issues have been discussed by Wyre Forest's MP with the Government's planning minister - including proposals for a Tesco Express at Areley Kings and 62 houses at Astley Cross.

Mark Garnier has met fellow Conservative MP Nick Boles to discuss the impact of the planned 62 houses at Pearl Lane, Astley Cross, which could see Malvern Hills District Council receive council tax, a new homes bonus and section 106 contributions but the burden of the homes falling on Wyre Forest District Council - whose planning policy manager Rebecca Mayman was also at the meeting.

Mr Garnier said Malvern Hill District Council had recently approved the application despite plans being opposed by Astley and Dunley Parish Council, Wyre Forest District Council and Stourport Town Council, Mr Garnier himself and a number of local residents and raised concerns about the national planning policy framework and "unintended consequences" on neighbouring authorities.

He said: "This planning decision has important implications for Stourport. Council tax. The new homes bonus and section 106 contributions will all go to Malvern Hills, yet the burden of these new homes will fall on Wyre Forest and Stourport. This is unfair and makes a mockery of local determination.

"It was important to raise the concerns of the council with the minister and to make him aware of this grey area. I will be writing to the minister for confirmation of best practice in instances such as these to ensure a fair deal is reached for Wyre Forest.

"I am hopeful the discussions due to take place between Wyre Forest and Malvern Hills with regards to how the cost can best be distributed between the two authorities will be productive. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure services in Stourport are not negatively impacted by this development."

Mr Garnier also discussed a planning application submitted by Tesco to extend the Squirrel Pub at Arley Common, which it plans to turn into a Tesco Express. Planning law, however, does not require applications to seek permission to change a building's use from a pub to a convenience store which, Mr Garnier said, was a "worrying fault" with the regulations.

Tesco spokesman Simon Petar said, nevertheless, the company had submitted a full and legal application, which would, ultimately, be determined by councillors on planning grounds.

Mr Garnier said: "Residents of Areley Kings have contacted me with concerns. [Wyre Forest District Council leader, Conservative] Councillor Marcus Hart has also highlighted concerns about permitted development rights and the fact no planning permission is required to change a pub to a retail premises.

"This is a worrying fault with the planning regulations and Tesco is using this loophole to undermine much-loved local businesses and traders."

A decision on the application is due to be made by Wyre Forest's planning committee at a meeting next Tuesday (May 20)after being deferred last month for a site visit.

Comments (4)

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8:23am Fri 16 May 14

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

Want this "worrying fault" with the planning regulations that allows a change of use from A4 (pub) to A1(supermarket) without planning permission being needed brought into law by a Conservative government?

Wasn't it also brought into law via Statutory Instrument thus making it easily changable if someone really wanted to?
Want this "worrying fault" with the planning regulations that allows a change of use from A4 (pub) to A1(supermarket) without planning permission being needed brought into law by a Conservative government? Wasn't it also brought into law via Statutory Instrument thus making it easily changable if someone really wanted to? FlipC - The Mad Ranter
  • Score: 9

8:46am Fri 16 May 14

SOS lad says...

It would probably be far easier for Tesco to build a "new" store along with the 60+ houses that Malvern Hills council want to allow on Peal Lane, its obvious Malvern Hills do not care one hoot about any impact on services, traffic etc etc that this proposal will have on the residents of Areley Kings.
But I doubt a developer would want to lower either the value or tone of this development, in both cases it seems to be nimbyism.
It would probably be far easier for Tesco to build a "new" store along with the 60+ houses that Malvern Hills council want to allow on Peal Lane, its obvious Malvern Hills do not care one hoot about any impact on services, traffic etc etc that this proposal will have on the residents of Areley Kings. But I doubt a developer would want to lower either the value or tone of this development, in both cases it seems to be nimbyism. SOS lad
  • Score: 1

7:07pm Fri 16 May 14

insidethebox says...

You won't consider it nimbyism when the extra cars from Pearl lane and the new development in Great Witley adds to the horrendous congestion in Stourport. I don't shop in Stourport or Kidderminster anymore it's not worth the hassle. The council have plans to improve the mini roundabout at the top of Bridge Street. I would like to know how. They also want to redevelop the old Lloyds garage to attract more tourists. More tourists means more congestion.
You won't consider it nimbyism when the extra cars from Pearl lane and the new development in Great Witley adds to the horrendous congestion in Stourport. I don't shop in Stourport or Kidderminster anymore it's not worth the hassle. The council have plans to improve the mini roundabout at the top of Bridge Street. I would like to know how. They also want to redevelop the old Lloyds garage to attract more tourists. More tourists means more congestion. insidethebox
  • Score: 2

10:39pm Sat 17 May 14

Green Olive says...

As I understand it Malvern Hills District Counil does not have a 5 year supply of land for housing or a current local plan. Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced by the current government, without these 2 key items they are at the mercy of developers who only have to prove that their proposal satisfies the NPPF requirements which are weighted in favour of granting planning permission.
As I understand it Malvern Hills District Counil does not have a 5 year supply of land for housing or a current local plan. Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced by the current government, without these 2 key items they are at the mercy of developers who only have to prove that their proposal satisfies the NPPF requirements which are weighted in favour of granting planning permission. Green Olive
  • Score: 1

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