DETERMINED residents in Bewdley have issued a ‘hands off our land’ warning to prospective housing developers.

A consultation has begun on Wyre Forest District Council’s draft local plan which has included the development of Highclere Fields, behind St Anne’s Primary School, for housing.

But residents firmly believe the area is not suitable for redevelopment and have formed the Friends of Highclere Fields Residents Association has been formed to fight the proposal.

The council’s planning policy team will host a drop-in session on Wednesday, July 19 in the Wyre Room in St Georges Hall, Bewdley between 2pm and 7pm where people can discuss the Local Plan.

But group chairman Tony Leach said: "There is dangerous road access via Park Lane and/or Wyre Hill. Both roads are very narrow with restricted access and poor visibility.

“Any development in this part of Bewdley will increase traffic flow still further. It will also impact on the air quality improvement zone in the Welch Gate part of Bewdley.

"Substantial numbers of school children and other pedestrians use Park Lane and Wyre Hill and are at risk because of the narrow roads, no pavements and volume of traffic. Any increase in traffic flow will add to the danger.

"This proposed site is not suitable or sustainable for retirement style bungalows or indeed any other type of development. It is a steep site sloping down to the Snuff Mill brook valley and is on top of a hill. It does not have easy access to facilities or services.

“There is neither a frequent bus route that serves the immediate area nor a local shop. Therefore increased car use will be encouraged.

"This is a valuable and well used piece of local countryside which is crossed by well used public footpaths and is a valued piece of urban Green Land.

“The natural beauty of these fields and their value for recreational purposes will be lost. The last Government Inspector's report rejected development of these fields.

"We are concerned that development of this site would set a precedent for larger developments in the future to the west of Bewdley.

“Retaining the Highclere site in the draft WFDC Local Plan could also strengthen the case for the Gladman planning application adjacent to Dry Mill Lane in any future appeal process."

Details of the proposal can be found at and the consultation ends on Monday, August 14.

People can comment online at, by email at or via post at Planning Policy Team, Wyre Forest DC, Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, DY11 7WF.