Harvington Neighbourhood Plan

Responses to Regulation 14 consultation

May / June 2018


National Grid


National Grid has appointed Wood to review and respond to development plan consultations on its behalf. We are instructed by our client to submit the following representation with regards to the above Neighbourhood Plan consultation.

About National Grid

National Grid owns and operates the high voltage electricity transmission system in England and Wales and operate the Scottish high voltage transmission system. National Grid also owns and operates the gas transmission system. In the UK, gas leaves the transmission system and enters the distribution networks at high pressure. It is then transported through a number of reducing pressure tiers until it is finally delivered to our customer. National Grid own four of the UK’s gas distribution networks and transport gas to 11 million homes, schools and businesses through 81,000 miles of gas pipelines within North West, East of England, West Midlands and North London.

To help ensure the continued safe operation of existing sites and equipment and to facilitate future infrastructure investment, National Grid wishes to be involved in the preparation, alteration and review of plans and strategies which may affect our assets. Specific Comments

An assessment has been carried out with respect to National Grid’s electricity and gas transmission apparatus which includes high voltage electricity assets and high pressure gas pipelines and also National Grid Gas Distribution’s Intermediate / High Pressure apparatus. National Grid has identified the following high voltage overhead power lines as falling within the Neighbourhood area boundary:

ZF Route - 400kV from Feckenham substation in Redditch to Minety in Wiltshire. From the consultation information provided, the above overheads power line does not interact with any of the proposed development sites.

Gas Distribution – Low / Medium Pressure

Whilst there is no implications for National Grid Gas Distribution’s Intermediate / High Pressure apparatus, there may however be Low Pressure (LP) / Medium Pressure (MP) Gas Distribution pipes present within proposed development sites. If further information is required in relation to the Gas Distribution network please contact: plantprotection@nationalgrid.com

Key resources / contacts National Grid has provided information in relation to electricity and transmission assets via the following internet link: http://www2.nationalgrid.com/uk/services/land-and-development/planning-authority/shape-files/

The first point of contact for all works within the vicinity of gas distribution assets is Plant Protection (plantprotection@nationalgrid.com).

Information regarding the transmission and distribution network can be found at: www.energynetworks.org.uk

Please remember to consult National Grid on any Neighbourhood Plan Documents or site-specific proposals that could affect our infrastructure.


Severn Trent Water(Email with attached information)

We currently have no specific comments to make however, please keep us informed as your plans develop and when appropriate we will be able to offer a more detailed comments and advice.

We have attached some general information and advice for your information.


Sports England (Email)

Thank you for consulting Sport England on the above neighbourhood plan.

The specific comments Sport England wish to provide on this matter relates to policies EH2 and LF1.

Policies EH2 and LF1.

P.74 of the NPPF establishes that open space, and land or buildings used for sport or recreation should not be developed, unless it is objectively assessed as being surplus to requirements, it will be replaced by equivalent or superior provision, or the development is for justifiable alternative provision.

EH2 currently refers to ‘very special circumstances’ in which LGSs may be developed, but there is no indication as to the nature of these circumstances, or whether they will be consistent with P74.

LF1 states that development of sports facilities will not be opposed if the facility is no longer viable, which not one of the circumstances is set out in P.74 that justifies development.

More generally, government planning policy, within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), identifies how the planning system can play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy, inclusive communities. Encouraging communities to become more physically active through walking, cycling, informal recreation and formal sport plays an important part in this process. Providing enough sports facilities of the right quality and type in the right places is vital to achieving this aim. This means that positive planning for sport, protection from the unnecessary loss of sports facilities, along with an integrated approach to providing new housing and employment land with community facilities is important.

It is essential therefore that the neighbourhood plan reflects and complies with national planning policy for sport as set out in the NPPF with particular reference to Pars 73 and 74. It is also important to be aware of Sport England’s statutory consultee role in protecting playing fields and the presumption against the loss of playing field land. Sport England’s playing fields policy is set out in our Playing Fields Policy and Guidance document.


Sport England provides guidance on developing planning policy for sport and further information can be found via the link below. Vital to the development and implementation of planning policy is the evidence base on which it is founded.


Sport England works with local authorities to ensure their Local Plan is underpinned by robust and up to date evidence. In line with Par 74 of the NPPF, this takes the form of assessments of need and strategies for indoor and outdoor sports facilities. A neighbourhood planning body should look to see if the relevant local authority has prepared a playing pitch strategy or other indoor/outdoor sports facility strategy. If it has then this could provide useful evidence for the neighbourhood plan and save the neighbourhood planning body time and resources gathering their own evidence. It is important that a neighbourhood plan reflects the recommendations and actions set out in any such strategies, including those which may specifically relate to the neighbourhood area, and that any local investment opportunities, such as the Community Infrastructure Levy, are utilised to support their delivery.

Where such evidence does not already exist then relevant planning policies in a neighbourhood plan should be based on a proportionate assessment of the need for sporting provision in its area. Developed in consultation with the local sporting and wider community any assessment should be used to provide key recommendations and deliverable actions. These should set out what provision is required to ensure the current and future needs of the community for sport can be met and, in turn, be able to support the development and implementation of planning policies. Sport England’s guidance on assessing needs may help with such work.



If new or improved sports facilities are proposed Sport England recommend you ensure they are fit for purpose and designed in accordance with our design guidance notes.



Any new housing developments will generate additional demand for sport. If existing sports facilities do not have the capacity to absorb the additional demand, then planning policies should look to ensure that new sports facilities, or improvements to existing sports facilities, are secured and delivered. Proposed actions to meet the demand should accord with any approved local plan or neighbourhood plan policy for social infrastructure, along with priorities resulting from any assessment of need, or set out in any playing pitch or other indoor and/or outdoor sports facility strategy that the local authority has in place.


In line with the Government’s NPPF (including Section 8) and its Planning Practice Guidance (Health and wellbeing section), links below, consideration should also be given to how any new development, especially for new housing, will provide opportunities for people to lead healthy lifestyles and create healthy communities. Sport England’s Active Design guidance can be used to help with this when developing planning policies and developing or assessing individual proposals.


Active Design, which includes a model planning policy, provides ten principles to help ensure the design and layout of development encourages and promotes participation in sport and physical activity. The guidance, and its accompanying checklist, could also be used at the evidence gathering stage of developing a neighbourhood plan to help undertake an assessment of how the design and layout of the area currently enables people to lead active lifestyles and what could be improved.


NPPF Section 8: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-planning-policy-framework/8-promoting-healthy-communities

PPG Health and wellbeing section: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/health-and-wellbeing

Sport England’s Active Design Guidance: https://www.sportengland.org/activedesign

(Please note: this response relates to Sport England’s planning function only. It is not associated with our funding role or any grant application/award that may relate to the site.)

If you need any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact Sport England using the contact provided.


The Canal & River Trust (Email)

The Canal & River Trust have considered the content of the document and have no comments to make in this case as we do not own or maintain any waterways within the area.


Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Commission does not have the resources to respond to all consultations, but will respond to consultations where it considers they raise issues of strategic importance.

Local, parish and town councils and other public authorities, as well as organisations exercising public functions, have obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in the Equality Act 2010 to consider the effect of their policies and decisions on people sharing particular protected characteristics. The PSED is an on-going legal requirement and must be complied with as part of the planning process.  The Commission is the regulator for the PSED and the Planning Inspectorate is also subject to it. In essence, you must consider the potential for planning proposals to have an impact on equality for different groups of people.  To assist, you will find our technical guidance here.


SHWG (Email)




We have no comments to make at this stage.

We do not offer detailed bespoke advice on policy but advise you ensure conformity with the local plan and refer to guidance within our area neighbourhood plan “proforma guidance”. Notwithstanding the above, for example it is important that these plans offer robust confirmation that development is not impacted by flooding and that there is sufficient waste water infrastructure in place to accommodate growth.

We would only make substantive further comments on the plan if you were seeking to allocate sites in flood zone 3 and 2 (the latter being used as the 1% climate change extent perhaps). Where an ‘ordinary watercourse’ is present this would need to be assessed and demonstrated as part of the evidence base within a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) i.e. to inform the sequential testing of sites and appropriate / safe development.

We would not, in the absence of specific sites allocated, offer a bespoke comment at this time. You are advised to utilise our attached area guidance and pro-forma which should assist you moving forward with your Plan.

We note that the plans outline that Harvington has a growth target of 40 dwellings during the life-time of this NDP. It is important that if/when these sites are selected they are appropriate and consider the information detailed in the attached pro-forma. I trust the above is of assistance at this time. Please can you also copy in any future correspondence to my team email address

007 Land owner

This response to the Harvington Neighbourhood Development Plan (“HNDP”) has been prepared by Vincent and Gorbing on behalf of Hobden Asset Management Limited (“HAM”) in partnership with Rural Housing Trust (RHT) in respect of 3ha. of land owned by HAM to the south of Village Street.

The land is suggested for allocation under Policy IH5, an allocation which is welcomed by HAM and we look forward to working with the Parish Council to bring forward development in a sensitive manner should the HNDP be adopted as presently drafted.

2. Overall, HAM considers that the HNDP is sound, well thought through and evidenced, and well presented, and HAM supports its approach and contents. Comments are made on specific policies below and where changes are suggested, these are suggestions in order to aid clarity or robustness of the plan.

Policy DB – Development Boundary

3. HAM supports Policy DB and considers that the boundary has been drawn in a reasonable manner given existing development and that proposed in the plan. The land south of Village Street identified in IH5 is rightly included within the development boundary and it is noted that Map 6 clearly indicates that this land represents a logical extension to the built up area within extending into the open countryside.

4. It is noted that “principal” in the third sentence of the policy should read “principle.”

Policy IH1 – Housing Growth

5. HAM supports policy IH1 in defining a broad number of units to be brought forward in the lifetime of the plan. However, HAM has some concern that the way the policy is currently drafted could result in objection to development on the housing allocation if in the meantime windfall development has consumed more than 5 units of the overall 40 unit allowance. It may help the clarity of the policy if the “around 35 units” as expressed in Policy IH5 is also reflected in policy IH1 – i.e. “This growth will be achieved principally through around 35 units at a housing allocation and natural windfall development.”

6. The explanation to the policy may also benefit from an indication that the estimate of the contribution of windfall development to the overall provision of around 40 dwellings above the 35 unit allocation is an estimate only and that development within the development boundary that resulted in excess of ‘around 40 dwellings’ would not be prevented if it accorded in all other respects with the policies of the plan. This would help emphasise that “around 40 dwellings” is not a target.

Policy IH2 – Housing Mix

7. HAM raises no objection to policy IH2 per se although some flexibility in the targets expressed would be beneficial given that the policy will apply to developments that are small in scale. For example, 10% of the 35 units proposed on IH5 would be 3.5 units and to aid the creation of the appropriate balance of units, HAM consider it preferable that the policy allows either 3 or 4 bungalows and 2 bed starter units respectively with the exact detail to be agreed at the time the development is brought forward. HAM suggests the replacement of “at least 10%” with “circa 10%”.

Policy IH3 – Parking Provision

8. The proposed parking standards of one car parking space for each bedroom is clearly in excess of those within the current Worcestershire County Council Interim Parking Standards February 2016 which requires 2 spaces for 2/3 bed units and 3 spaces for 4 or more bedrooms. Although the rural location of Harvington may justify an increase on the current county-wide standard HAM are concerned that for larger dwellings, the application of these standards could result in car dominated development that would not be in character with the village. We would suggest that 4 spaces are required for 4 bedroom units or larger. This also reflects the fact that those who purchase larger houses are not necessarily larger family groups with more cars but use additional bedrooms for other purposes such as offices, recreational spaces or guests.

Policy IH5 9 - Housing Allocation

As per our comments above, HAM supports policy IH5 and is keen to work with the Parish Council to bring forward a suitable scheme. HAM considers that the site selection process was rigorous and the allocation is sound.

10. HAM has a minor comment with regard to the way the access arrangements are described. Para. 3 indicates that the required access roadway “probably following the existing footpath, has not be shown in the maps but is included in this policy.” HAM considers that if the boundary of the allocation is not to include this access road corridor, it may assist clarity if the access route is notated on Map 21 as a black ‘pecked’ line adjoining the footpath with the notation “potential vehicular access.”




Historic England is supportive of the Vision and objectives set out in the Plan, in particular we commend the intention to protect traditional land uses (e.g. orchards) architectural heritage and important landscapes/views. We also commend the Green Infrastructure approach in Policy EH1 and the Local Green Space Policy EH2.

Policy EH3 - A minor concern with reference to the wording “Responding to Local Character” is the use of the term “important historic buildings”. This rather begs the question as to what exactly constitutes “important” and there is a danger that the lack of a precise definition here may lead to unhelpful debate in future development scenarios. In this context the National Planning Policy framework (NPPF) makes it clear that in fact all Heritage assets (not just historic buildings) should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance.

Similarly, whilst the Policy helpfully makes reference to the “Village Character Statement” it does not explicitly require developers to have regard to it. It our view it would be quite reasonable to strengthen the policy wording and simply state that “In formulating development proposals developers should demonstrate that full account has been taken of the Village Character Statement such that it:

a) Protects heritage assets within the village…….”

Policy BT3 - As a more general point, the Parish clearly has a strong agricultural base and numerous historic farmsteads. Whilst we support, as Policy BT3 of the Plan suggests, the conversion to beneficial uses, including employment uses, of redundant historic buildings we are concerned to ensure that this is done in a sensitive manner. Therefore we suggest that you consider the inclusion of the following Policy in an appropriate section of the Neighbourhood Plan viz:

“Redevelopment, alteration or extension of historic farmsteads and agricultural buildings within the Parish should be sensitive to their distinctive character, materials and form. Due reference should be made and full consideration be given to the Worcestershire Farmsteads Characterisation Project”.


Further information about this can be obtained if necessary from the Worcestershire County Council Archives and Archaeology Service.

In conclusion, overall the plan reads as a well-considered and concise document which we consider takes a suitably proportionate approach to the historic environment of the Parish.


Planning Wychavon District Council


Title – suggest reference to “Development” is deleted as the term Neighbourhood Plan is now generally applied.

Introduction Para 1.1.1 Note that an updated version of the National Planning Policy Framework is likely to be published over the summer of 2018. This will need to be updated and reflected in the Regulation 16 version of the NP.

Para 1.2.1 Suggest final sentence includes reference to the SWDP Review and updated plan period to 2041 once the SWDP is adopted in 2022 in the context of a review of the NP.

The Parish of Harvington Para 2.1.4 Formatting – space required between para 2.1.3 Para 2.3.5 Suggest rephrase to “there were 5 people who …”.

Vision and objectives 3.1 Vision – should the vision include a statement about how the parish will look by 2030?

3.2 Objective 1 – not sure that the land use planning system is able to protect the “quality” of orchards, horticultural and agricultural land. Furthermore there are no planning controls over agricultural practices and “ensuing sustainable production of food, fruit and animal feed” is outside the remit of the planning system.

Objective 3 – this stance is at odds with the position in the draft NPPF (para. 66; 67) where NP are expected to contribute to the boosting of supply and not look retrospectively at past trends to determine a figure.

4. Policies. Generally the text and criteria in the policy boxes should be fully referenced throughout the NP to assist in report writing and appeal etc.

Policy DB Replace “principal” with “principle” in opening paragraph.

Bullet 2 – suggest reference is made to conversion of redundant farm building to residences is normally acceptable provided marketing has shown other uses are not appropriate/viable.

Bullet 3 – is vague and doesn’t add the decision maker. Suggest expand either within policy or in explanation.

Map 6 – suggest insert “… of the development boundary …”


1. Delete text in brackets. The development boundary is defined in the SWDP to implement SWDP2 and is not the boundary of the villages showing built up area of the settlement.

2. Insert “… within the boundary, allocating sites for residential development and small-scale …” Query whether it is useful to draw the development boundary around the SWDP and proposed residential allocations as this could lead to infill proposals on open areas of the site.

Policy EH1 Part A - wording is vague and the criteria ‘generous’ in that it would be fairly straightforward forward for an applicant to make a case that alternative infill or brownfield infill sites are either not available, or that additional housing is required to boost supply. Also query:

 What criteria will be employed to consider the brownfield sites;

 What are the targets being referred to in the policy? SWDP are being met by housing and employment allocations, the NP presumably the same. These would be windfall development. I.e. in addition to the supply set out in the SWDP.

Part B – what types of development are required to contribute? All types, presumably just residential, including extensions? Unreasonable to ask retail/employment development to contribute. Therefore the policy requires clarification to assist the decision maker. Further this is delivered through SWDP39 so query if the policy is necessary.

Part C – Unless a tree(s) is protected by a TPO this policy is difficult to implement. Also the policy wording is unclear, employing such terms as “every possible effort”.

Part D and E – Requirements are excessive, especially if the trees are not protected by a TPO/Conservation Area.

Part F – last bullet is unclear and does not aid the decision maker. In many cases it will not be possible to incorporate existing private access/routes as public rights of way into new development.

Policy EH2 Query if sufficient investigation has been undertaken to ensure that green spaces included in this policy proposed for designation as LGS meet the tests of para 77 in the NPPF. The supporting evidence does not seem to be accessible on the website. Final sentence insert “Where appropriate the neighbourhood proportion of the Community Infrastructure Levy will be used …”. It will not be possible to make bids to the wider CIL pot for public open space as this has already been covered via s106 agreements and would result in ‘double dipping’, i.e. delivering the same infrastructure from CIL and s106.

Policy EH3 Explanation 2 – include date of adoption of Conservation Area, i.e. March 2015. Policy EH4 – this policy seems to introduce greater restrictions affecting the setting of the conservation area than would apply to development within it.

Policy EH5 – Support the inclusion of a policy relating to views but need to ensure the evidence is robust as the examiner will be looking carefully at these.

Policy EH6 – “floodplain” Explanation 2 – replace HMG with Environment Agency.

Ditto reference in Note. 5 – Interesting but query relevance. Suggest straightforward reference to effects of climate change.

4.3 Local Facilities and Leisure Replace para 4.3.2 and 4.3.3 with bullet points?

Para 4.3.4 – this is the first reference in sections to the objectives. Should this not be consistent throughout the document?

Policy LFL1 – typo, “childrens’” and “St James”.

Policy LFL2 – Query why the statement is necessary that the site will only be released if demonstrated need. Has this not come forward via the consultation and input of the primary school? It is also inconsistent with LFL3 where the where the release of land for the village hall is not as onerous. Suggest delete.

Policy LFL3 – Explanation 3 – if the ownership is unknown difficult to allocate as there is no certainty that it would be released.

4.4 Business and Tourism 4.4.2 Full stop end of second bullet.

Policy BT1 – Land use planning can control number of people employed on a business site. Also this seems to go counter to the economic pillar of sustainable development. Suggest delete third paragraph.

First bullet – replace “residents” with “residences”.

Policy BT2 – Only Class A1 covers shops (or retail), A2; 3; 4 are financial services etc.; food and drink, and drinking establishments respectively. Does the opening sentence require a redraft to reflect this? It is necessary to define what is acceptable or meant by “appropriate locations”. The decision maker requires assistance in this instance.

Policy BT3 – second bullet need to define “appropriate” as above.

Policy BT4 – SWDP8 is considered to be a strategic policy and it does not location of live/work units. Therefore the policy is not in conformity limiting live/work to inside development boundary and farm diversification. Also limits sustainable development by restricting live/work proposals that are not related or appropriate to farm diversification proposals.

First bullet SWDP8 sets a 60/40 threshold in favour of residential. Is there a justification for going with the 50/50 threshold limit?

Second bullet – This is overly onerous and not enforceable as signs larger than this do not require planning consent.

Explanation 3 – suggest “… dedicated work area, often assessed separately by customers …”

Policy BT5 – A – typo “… and does not adversely affect …”

Explanation 2. Should reference be made to boating/leisure uses on the River Avon?

4. Insert “seasonal” before blossom-related.

5. Reference to “spirt” seems rather vague. What does this mean in practice?

Policy BT6 – Suggests opening sentence makes reference to ‘glamping’.

Explanation 1. “Flood Zone”. 2. The final sentence does not make sense.

Policy T1 – for the avoidance of doubt the policy should identify all sites to which it applies.

Community Projects - is the provision of charging points in these locations supported by the landowners? Suggest that an explanation is provided in the introduction about the community projects. This is the first instance in the NP that the reader encounters them.

Policy T2 – suggested replace “proposed” with “safeguarded”. Remove reference to “aspirational” routes as the emphasis needs to be firmer in the policy/Map18. Explanation 1. Route B – remove quotation marks from names of public houses.

4.6 Infrastructure and Housing Para 4.6.8 – does the concept of sustainability require further explanation, either here or indeed earlier on in the NP?

Policy IH1 – reference to policy should be IH5.

Policy IH2 – clarification required as to what constitutes “bungalow style”. Would single storey be a better phrase? Thresholds supported provided they are robustly supported by evidence.

Policy IH3 – reference should be made to the county council’s 2017 Streetscape Guide. Policy IH4 – title of policy doesn’t reflect the content. Seems to be more to do with design and sustainable development. Opportunity to cross reference to VDS.

Is there evidence to support the density limit?

How does the applicant/decision maker assess density of existing estates?

Renewables threshold on new development higher than SWDP27. Is this justified by any evidence?


Planning Services Economy and Infrastructure County Council

General comments


The Worcestershire County Council's Children, Families, and Communities (CFC) department note Policy LFL2, allowance for the provision of the Expansion of Harvington C of E First and Nursery School. The school is either full or almost full in all year groups and is anticipated to accept full reception classes in 3 out of the next 4 years. Additional housing developments within the catchment area will likely require additional facilities at the school to support demand in the future; the protection of land to support this possibility is strongly supported by CFC.

Minerals and Waste The draft Neighbourhood Plan currently makes no reference to the Waste Core Strategy or Minerals Local Plan. These documents form part of the statutory Development Plan for the area alongside the South Worcestershire Development Plan, and we consider that the Neighbourhood Plan should make some reference to this.

We recommend the following change and footnote (shown in bold) to paragraph 1.1.5: "Once made, this NDP will form part of the Development Plan at the local level alongside the adopted South Worcestershire Development Plan, the adopted Worcestershire Waste Core Strategy and the saved policies of the County of Hereford and Worcester Minerals Local Plan. It will be used to determine planning applications in accordance with Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 Section 38 (6) in that the determination of planning applications ‘must be made in accordance with the Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise’."

We note the stated aspiration in section 5.7 to restrict traffic from any civil engineering, minerals extraction or similar activities inside or within 10 miles of the Neighbourhood Area from passing through Village Street, Leys Road or the Conservation Area.

We agree that this aspiration should not form a specific policy, as such a blanket restriction may not pass the tests of reasonableness for a planning condition set out in paragraph 206 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (namely that "Planning conditions should only be imposed where they are necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects").

The traffic implications of any proposed mineral development would be fully considered through the planning application process. Sustainable Drainage.

Policy EH6 – Flooding. We welcome that it requires all new developments to use permeable drives; however, we would welcome a more comprehensive approach to Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). SuDS should be encouraged on all developments in the Neighbourhood Planning area, regardless of their size. The Plan should specify that at surface level SuDS provide the best opportunity for multiple benefits and they should be considered before below ground SuDS. The maintenance of SuDS for the lifetime of the development should be encouraged by the Plan.

Additionally, we would like to make a few detailed comments:

 "Development should not result in an unacceptable risk to the quality of the receiving river, stream, brook or other water body, nor transfer the risk of increased flooding of the receiving water body". This paragraph should include "no additional water quantity".

 "All new developments should use permeable drives and hard standing wherever practical to allow the on-site absorption of rain water rather than permitting ‘run off’ which can lead to flooding".

It is important that the Plan makes it explicit that permeable drive/paving need to be adequately maintained in order to sustain its functionality. We are concerned with the use of 'hardstanding'. Tarmac driveways do not allow for 'on-site absorption'.

Sustainability 4 | Electric vehicles

We support the aspirations for an electric vehicle charge point project.

Paragraph 4.5.3 states that "the UK government has announced that the majority of new cars and vans should be electric by 2040".This statement is not quite correct.

The government has announced that all new cars sold from 2040 cannot be solely diesel or petrol driven. Hybrid vehicles will still be on the market.

We welcome the approach to electric vehicle charging points being included for all new developments. It is worth noting that a charge point installed in a garage will make the garage a parking space for the property.


We support the approach to renewable energy with the investigation of geothermal and hydro power as options for Harvington. Living conditions play a key role in both physical and mental wellbeing of residents. The provision of affordable heating can help reduce the risk of fuel poverty and benefit the health of the local residents. This is why the affordability of the heating should be encouraged through this Plan. This approach will support the objectives of the Government's Clean Growth Strategy1 with moving away from more carbon intensive fuels.

We support the inclusion of a lower threshold for the consideration of renewable energy than SWDP27. It may also be beneficial to include the reference to the provision of roof mounted solar PV as this is by far the most popular choice for renewable energy on new development sites.

011 Local resident

I’ve been reading the draft plan that has been published and firstly I would like to say that it’s clear a great deal of hard work has gone into this. Being relatively new to the village (Aug 2015) I found it interesting and informative.

There are three areas I would like to get clarification on please:

1.     Attached is a pdf with part of your development boundary map extracted. I’ve expanded the section for my property. I was confused why the red development boundary line cuts through my garden. I’ve drawn our boundary in blue, so you can see where that sits. The red boundary line seems quite deliberately drawn, so my query is whether this should sit outside of our property boundary, as it does for most other houses on Village Street.

2.     Traffic calming around the crossroads of Village Street, Alcester/Evesham Road, Leys Road. Are there any plans to add in a mini roundabout, with a raised junction? I assume this junction has been assessed for further traffic calming measures. Is there anything published on the options that have been/are being considered?

3.     Leisure Facilities – In the leisure section I couldn’t see much in the way of proposals for future development of leisure facilities, either on the playing field or in other areas. Is there any plan to establish a tennis club/court or other sporting facilities?

012 Local resident

The NDP document is long and verbose as has become common practice although it means that those people who are busy (with family, working etc) or have limited literacy skills don’t engage with democracy!

The plan presents a vision for the future which in essence is a snap shot of the village as it is now and proposes to retain it and defend the village against future significant development.  Apart from the cycle paths, there is little in the plan which would improve the quality of life or reduce the cost of living for residents.  This is probably what the majority of vocal residents want but the NDP gives the impression that rural England is dominated by NIMBYs!  The younger generations have desire for a better future in the same way that many of us who are now in retirement had at their age.   Obviously, the surveys were constructed with this preservation objective in mind and perhaps the Parish Council should be concerned about the numbers of residents who do not participate in local decision making. 

Since WW2, the village has seen a massive increase in the number of houses with new modest estates being built in almost every decade.  Even post 2000, the number of houses built in the first few years (prior to the financial crisis) greatly exceeds the 2-3 per year proposed in the plan. (Off Evesham and Alcester roads alone there were in excess of 40 homes).  If the current combination of anti-migrant and limited work permits for “essential skilled employees” including doctors, nurses etc continues, then it is likely that the 30% plus of the house building quota in the SWDP which do not have allocated sites will not be needed.  (I believe these are also the dreams of the local politicians and authors of the SWDP).  However, it should be recognised in the Harvington Plan that the pressure for more houses is coming from people living longer and more single parent families.  It’s unclear whether the policy of denying social housing (rented, leased or purchased) to families who do not have any connection with the village is justified when the majority of new houses have been occupied by people moving in from wealthier parts many miles from Harvington.

The age demographics in Harvington are rightly noted in the plan but their impact on the plan is not obvious!  In rural Wales (where I grew up) the majority of people in post 18 education left and never returned because the job prospects were poor.  It is not clear whether that is the same for this part of rural Worcestershire or how planning policies should change as a result.  An ageing population increases the health service needs, the numbers of unpaid and paid carers, and has impacts on the transport planning etc.  None of this is reflected in the Harvington plan despite the fact that, for instance, our bus service is generally unreliable with buses cancelled almost daily and unpredictable with buses more than 10 minutes late every day!  (Although Internet access to real-time bus schedules is possible most older residents would find real-time displays in bus shelters a more accessible).  In the future, there is scope for autonomous (self-driving) cars which at least for better off residents might be preferred to public transport or volunteer drivers.  Compared to other parts of the Stagecoach bus network and Diamond buses in the wider area, fares for travelling on the X18 are very high and the bus shelter capacity given the numbers who use the buses is clearly inadequate in the mornings!

The plan recognises that climate change and associated increased rainfall is possible.  However, it fails to acknowledge that there is no significant flooding risk providing drains and waterways continue to be adequately cleared (these were the principle causes of the most recent problems and drainage remains a problem along Station road).  However, good rural drainage conflicts with regional planning which advocates retention of rainwater upstream to avoid the necessity of increased river capacity to avoid downstream flooding.  Perhaps building on the site of the large pond off Leys Road some decades ago would not have been approved today!

Broadband in the village has improved but remains very expensive and inadequate compared to more urban communities.  The key infrastructure limitation appears to be capacity into the village despite the high capacity fibre optics running down the B4088.  Mobile phone coverage is patchy and unpredictable.  The opportunity to put a mast inside the church tower (like is becoming increasingly common) has been lost by renovating the Victorian (?) copper spire which sits rather incongruously on top of the Norman tower.  (Mobile signals don’t travel through metal sheets).

Employment opportunities within or near the village have declined significantly during the time that I have lived in the village.  In part, the opening of the A46 dual carriage way had the inevitable consequence of less business from passing traffic.  Harvington is now perhaps best described as a dormitory village with the majority of people commuting to work well outside the village.  I’m sure residents would not welcome a return to the noise and smells associated with vehicle maintenance and repair.  The village has been fortunate that the growth in population has been sufficient to sustain some of the shops and pubs. 

The plan fails to acknowledge that assuming Western Countries continue to rely on a free market growth economy, then local retail business will need an average 2-3% growth in sale per year (after inflation) to remain profitable.  Without this corresponding increase in local population retailers will need to persuade residents to spend more locally.  In the light of the trend for online retailing and the reduction in social drinking it seems inevitable that Harvington will see some or all of its shops and pubs close within the life of the Harvington Plan.  This should be acknowledge as a consequence of not continuing to grow the village at a similar rate to the last 30 years  – although there is no certainty that building 200 houses would not result in closures of shops and pubs.  There is also no evidence in the plan that residents want the local shops and pubs to remain open.  Simply ensuring that there is no further loss of parking near the pubs and shops might help to draw trade from a wider area.  In reality, a high proportion of residents rarely use the shops or pubs.

In conclusion, when I spent my first night in Harvington over 30 years ago I never anticipated that it would be apathy that would prevent me from moving elsewhere.  Now, like other residents of my age I face difficult decisions about whether the current inadequate access to health care is likely to continue and if so how to identify areas where you don’t spend 3 days calling the regional hospital appointment number every few minutes with no queuing system to find out the date of my next (long overdue) appointment for a life-changing chronic condition.  Obviously, for the younger generation the primary issue is the high rate (over 30%) of GCSE failures in English and Maths across the region – few parents expect their children to have chronic or serious health problems!   If there are no solutions to these problems then Harvington (and Wychavon as a whole) will become undesirable places to live and there will be no demand for increased housing! 

In other words, our vision for the future should focus on a hope for a better future: access to affordable/”free” health care as needed; effective education/training and better paid jobs achieved without further damage to the environment.

013 Local resident

Policy IH5

We had a letter sent to us from you the Parish Council asking if we were happy about 35 homes being built behind our house. "NO" we are not happy. This land that you are talking about was going to be built on before and we said NO then! If you are going to build homes on this land what was the point of Harvington Say NO campaign! 

I don't care if it's 3 or 335 we are not happy with any homes being built on this land and we are shocked that you are even thinking about it doing it! The local people who live in Harvington had to fight hard the last time this happened to stop anyone building on this land. It's just crazy. Your only interest is in a new community area.

014 Local resident


I would be grateful if this could be shared with the Steering Group responsible for the Harvington Neighbourhood Development Plan and with the group responsible for the identification of possible development sites. Thank you for your work on the Harvington Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Development Boundary

I have a question about the position of the development boundary (also referred to as the settlement boundary). This is significant because the position of the boundary impacts on whether or not houses can be built (on the proposed development site A) very close to the rear of several houses (including mine) on Village Street and the main road. Below are several maps showing the development boundary: NB: see attachment sent separately.

Figures 1 and 2 show the development site (identified as “Site A” in the HNDP page 68) as within the development boundary. However, figures 3, 4 and 5 (taken from the HNDP page 10, the supporting report by Aecom and the SWDP) show the area identified as Site A as lying outside the development boundary.

In other words, different maps within the same plan show different development boundaries.

Also, I notice that the Aecom report points out that: “the smaller site (A) is of a reasonable scale and does not extend the village any further than the building line” but that “It should be noted that the site is currently outside the settlement boundary, whereby the principal of development is not permitted in accordance with Policy SWDP 2.

A settlement boundary change would have to be proposed as part of the Neighbourhood Plan to allocate Site A.” (Page 14 Development Site Assessments by Aecom, Main Report).

I note from a document with the filename ‘ProposalForDevelopmentSiteDecisionmakingProcess.pdf and titled “Harvington Neighbourhood Plan Allocation of building development sites” that the steering group has proposed extending the settlement boundary and acknowledge that:

 The location chosen will create strong local feelings

 The decisions will be “market-sensitive” – for both landowners and owners of adjacent property.

This is most certainly the case. There is no doubt that removing the large open space to the rear of properties on Village Street will impact upon their market value, especially if (as I note below), structures are built on the very edge of existing garden boundaries. The location chosen will certainly create strong local feelings and I note the SG’s concerns that these feelings could derail the whole plan. It is important, therefore, that the views of residents of these properties are considered. I understand that a blanket refusal to countenance development anywhere in the village is not feasible.

Therefore, I have the following What is the basis for the assumption that the next iteration of the SWDP will automatically overturn decisions already made and move settlement boundaries without regard to the HNDP or previous versions of SWDP? It seems that the decision to move the settlement boundary is influenced heavily by this unsupported assumption. Unless there is strong evidence that the SWDP will change, it seems strange that the HNDP, designed to limit development, would actually encourage development on a site excluded by the SWDP! Furthermore, I understand that a successful HNDP must align with the local plan (the SWDP in this case). Attempting to change the settlement boundary from that agreed by South Worcestershire risks undermining the whole plan because of one detail. I note that Gladman have been keen to point this out in their submission and I have no doubt that they will seize on any loophole that may allow them to challenge the plan.

Policy IH5

InitialBriefingForConsultant.pdf) suggests “there might be a need for an additional 14 or so of these bungalows” and that “movement to 3-4 bed houses would not consume all the released stock.” If that is the case, where does the need for 30 units come from? 14 bungalows would have significantly less impact than 30 unspecified units.

3. I had to dig around for a while to find the relevant documents and was only alerted to the need to do so when I spotted the discrepancy in the maps shown above and the point raised in the Aecom document. Given its very significant impact, what plans do the steering group have to more widely publicise this crucial proposal to move the settlement boundary agreed by SWDP?

4. Does a neighbourhood development plan have the authority to amend a decision made as part of the SWDP? Presumably the assumptions on which the SWDP drew the settlement boundary still apply: why would South Worcestershire, therefore, change this?

Can I suggest the following: I appreciate that Site A (whether or not within the settlement boundary) is ideal for development. However, the objections to potential development would be much less strenuous if there was some guarantee that developers won’t build new structures right on the boundary of existing gardens. You will have seen the developments in Pershore and Evesham where houses have been built literally inches from existing garden boundaries, depriving homeowners of light to and privacy in their gardens. Can the neighbourhood plan thus incorporate a condition to be placed on any future development that a reasonable buffer between new structures and existing gardens be maintained – say twenty metres? Indeed, given the desirability of this buffer zone, development of the sites further south of Site A would actually be a more acceptable option than development of Site A itself. These sites do not about existing properties and can be accessed as easily as Site A.

Please don’t misunderstand the tone of this letter. I am very grateful for the huge amount of work that has been put in to ensuring that our village is developed sensitively and sustainably and I’d like to thank you all for that.

015 Local resident

Street Appraisal.

Page numbering is wrong - starting with Leys Road reading 95 should be 94 and so on. 

016 Local resident

Policy IH5.

As one of the two household most affected by the proposal, road adjacent, community centre to the left, housing behind, considerable reduction in privacy and house valuation, I register my opposition to your proposals and seek answers as follows.

  • While I appreciate the village plan has been compiled from suggestions put forward by the villagers, it is unlikely any of the households now affected by IH5 actually suggested this would be a good idea.

  • The village (with some doubt it would now seem with regard to the parish council) fought a hard and determined battle, to successfully defeat recent property developers in their attempt to build houses on the land of which this proposed area is part, and land off Crest Hill.

  • The parish council in agreeing to this proposal have virtually handed to the developers a carte blanche opportunity, to now come back and make another bid with the obvious tacit agreement of the PC. How can they deny it, and what grounds could now be used.

  • Forget the village plan, with both the Government and opposition determined to cover the UK in concrete it will, as in many other rural areas be overruled. To believe otherwise is not only naive but very foolish and in fact irresponsible.

  • This is the thin end of a wedge which will be very skilfully used by the developers to overthrow any opposition and obtain the necessary consent in both areas so previously well defended.

  • What has happened to the argument, again hard fought and won, that the bus stop, which prevented a road access to the land in question, being removed? Is it now OK and approved by the Parish Council? Will the protesters agree I wonder?

  • With two pubs and a village hall why do we need a community centre?

  • What constitutes a Community Centre? What will be its function? During what hours will it be permitted to increase the current ambient noise levels of this part of the village? Will it be single storey or two storey invading privacy of all neighbouring properties more so than a standard two story dwelling? Does the council have any idea about use or will it just happen with a “camel like” committee designing and deciding its function?

I trust the PC can give at least the semblance of proof of some consideration to all these concerns.

I accept this can be seen as NIMBY but what really concerns me is that the PC in putting forward this proposal, have opened a very wide door and invited the developers with a much bigger agenda to come back in, using this as support for their plans. Well done PC and helpers.

017 Local resident

Policy IH5.

I have just agreed to purchase in Village Street and hope to move into the village in June. The proximity of the development is therefore of direct interest to me.

Whilst in principle, I have no issue with the proposal, I would like to see other options for the access road explored and if it really has to be through Village Street, will there be traffic calming measures to take account of the additional 70+ or so cars that the development will inevitably bring?

018 Local resident

Policy IH5.

I would like to express my wholehearted support for the new parish plan which will include the new "site A”. As a former resident of the village I would have loved to have bought my own property however this was impossible due to the lack of homes available for sale. I would welcome a mixed development in the area. As a village we understand houses need to be built and small developments are the way forward. 

019 Local resident


Need more bungalows to keep elderly in the Village.

If building take into consideration school size and transport.

Street lighting – very dark in Blakenhurst and Orchard Place.

020 Local resident

Policy IH5.

There should be a big percentage of buildings for downsizing elderly villagers with residential care, freeing up existing houses for newcomers.

The amount of traffic accessing Village Street would be dangerous.

The whole character of the village would be destroyed if this proposal goes through.

021 Local resident

We viewed the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan at the consultation event this morning and are fully in support of the proposals within the plan, which seem very well thought through.

Policy IH5 and Policy T2

We are particularly supportive of the proposal that any new housing development should have a sufficient amount of parking for residents and like the idea of a footbridge to Offenham.

022 Local resident

Policy IH5

After going to the recent presentation of The Neighbourhood Plan it certainly made me realise how hard the Councillors have been working on the plan to safeguard Harvington.
Some of the land identified for development is at the side of my house which is on Village Street, whilst I am in favour of this I would definitely like to see affordable housing being included in the 35 properties that are proposed to be built on this piece of land. 
I think it is extremely important to have the Plan in place to ensure Harvington remains a village.

023 Local resident

Policy IH5

After going to the recent presentation of The Neighbourhood Plan it certainly made me realise how hard the Councillors have been working on the plan to safeguard Harvington.
Some of the land identified for development is at the side of my house which is on Village Street, whilst I am in favour of this I would definitely like to see affordable housing being included in the 35 properties that are proposed to be built on this piece of land. 
I think it is extremely important to have the Plan in place to ensure Harvington remains a village.

024 Local resident

The following possible errors, correction, omissions and re-wording need consideration and/or correction.

1. Photo 5 Page 38 - Should be: ….junction of Leys Road with Leysfield

2. Page 53 Map 17 - A garage already exists on the designated marked space.

3. Page 102 Ragley Road Two (not three) properties face directly onto Village Street, although a third property, facing onto the green area, has a drive exiting onto Village Street.

4. Page 103 Hughes Lane The ‘terrace of three houses’ (Fig34) referred to in the text, is known as Breedon Grounds, and the name could be included for clarity in the text.

5. Page 105 Village Street Reference is made (Fig 39) to 1930’s police station. This property was eventually sold, and a replacement police station was constructed in the 1960’s, slightly further down Station Road, on the opposite side – now known as ‘Coppers Lodge’. Needs to be included for completeness?

6. Page 105 Station Road Fig 41 Perhaps, as with similar wording used for Ragley Road, the text would be better to read:- ‘….framed by a pair of forward-set modern housing, facing onto Station Road (Fig 41)……

7. Appendix C Page 111

(i) RR1 Silver Birch – This is on private land. Should it be included?

(ii) Should the trees on the Green Space in Ragley Road also be included, or are they excluded because they are on Housing Association land – although trees on land throughout the village owned by Highways are included. Seems slightly anomalous. Review?

(iii)TREES ALSO NOT INCLUDED – There are a number of Poplar trees planted in the hedgerow along Green Street, planted over 70 years ago by Vic Tyack, when his daughter Hillary.

Comments and Concerns for Review

1. Nomination of Development Site

At the first of the open days at the Golden Cross, the chairman of the Steering Group was in attendance, so I asked him for clarification. I was advised that the guidance was that we COULD (not SHOULD) include a designated development area.

I was further advised that, of the 11 sites identified in the survey, where villagers’ thoughts regarding property types etc. were requested, only 3 sites were then found available for consideration for a nominated site, as being on offer for development by the owners. This surprised me, as a number of the sites identified were those owned by the Diocese, who had been quite happy previously to put them forward for consideration for minerals extraction at the recent call for sites.

On reading the Steering Group minutes, I note it was agreed to only publish the call for development sites in the Village News, which had the distinct possibility that owners of land who resided outside the village had little chance of responding. This should be of great concern, as it severely limited the potential for responses.

The three sites left for consideration were:

1. The site on Crest Hill, planning application opposed by the Council, and rejected for development by the Inspector on appeal.

2. The site on the hill, which runs down below the ‘dog walker’s field onto the bottom of Crest Hill. This was considered unsuitable, amongst other reasons, due to the severe slope, and affect on a protected view, and unsuitability for sheltered housing.

3. The site opposite the Golden Cross, behind the bus shelter.

Deciding on the site is really a bit like ‘last man standing’ where eight sites were not available for consideration as viable candidates, and from the limited selection of three left, one was rejected already and another was unsuitable and easily removed from consideration. I am concerned that the result is a bit ’shaky’ as regards justification and may well not represents what the village wants, but was possible guided by the feeling we should (rather than could) submit an identified development area.

Reasoning and Justification

A: Within the WDC guidance document it states:

“Neighbourhood Plans can range in complexity depending on the wishes of local people ……….” Neighbourhood Plans can be used to choose where new homes and offices are built and have a say on what the building looks like”.

[Therefore, there is no WDC requirement they must include a specified development area]

B: The site suggested was originally part of the Gladman’ application. At that time, following village response, a revised plan was submitted following objections to the specific area as:

i) Access onto Village Street was too close to the main road, and onto busy Village Street

ii) The bus shelter would need to be relocated, to improve safety and visibility.

If above reasons were strong enough then to prevent exit onto Village Street, presumably to same reasons to prevent such development may now still well be relevant and apply.

Following our village’s recent history, such inclusion of an agreed development site, particularly at that location, has the potential to re-open the earlier problems we had with unwanted and unwelcome excessive development proposals – and further Gladman input.

C:From further reading, the role of Category 1,2 and 3 settlement areas in the SWDP is predominately aimed at meeting locally identified housing and employment needs. The Harvington Draft Neighbourhood Plan and ERJ specifically states that the surveys undertaken could not identify any such over-riding need from either local residents or businesses.

With all that in mind, the necessity to specify a development area is significantly weakened.

I have looked at all the successfully ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plans listed on the Wychavon, Malvern Hills and Stratford upon Avon District websites regarding offering voluntary specific development sites, [over and above development already in progress, awaiting approval, or nominated as part of the SWDP]. I trust I have not missed out any relevant information in my perusal, but from reading the documents, I believe the results are:-

Of the 14 sites (details below):

i) 5 chose not to list specific development sites.

[Mainly villages somewhat comparable with Harvington]

ii) 3 submitted potential development sites

iii) 6 already had Planning Application either substantially or completely fulfilling their parish’s housing obligations, or due to location, were allocated sites under SWDP, so had no need for further voluntary submissions.

Conclusion: I would suggest, if consideration is given to all considerations above, that this shows there is no requirement, justification or real need to identify a specific site.

Evidence: Existing ‘Made’ Development Plan Details (taken from reading the relevant ‘made’ Plans)

Stratford upon Avon District Council Area

1. Wilmcote: No specific sites identified. Comment included that they will need a future exercise to identify suitable land to cover local housing needs.

2. Bidford on Avon: No specific sites identified. Supports development on brownfield sites and, in principal, new housing within the Village Boundary, complying with the Neighbourhood Plan policy

3. Kineton: The Stratford upon Avon Council’s Draft Core Strategy (DCS) has identified Kineton as needing to provide 200 dwellings within the plan. Allocations already made, and no further additions required to meet requirements.

4. Long Compton: Identified sites for 20 new homes, including 9 affordable housing needs. Supports development on brownfield sites and, infill within the boundary.

5. Welford: The Parish Council decided not to included site allocations because, under the DCS approved permission already exceeds the upper limit requirement. Any further sites offered need full evaluation to comply with the requirements of the Neighbourhood Plan.

6. Wooton Wawen: No specific sites identified. Supports development on brownfield sites and, infill within the Village Boundary.

7. Salford Priors: DCS requirement identifies approximately 84 new homes over the Plan period, with allocated sites, and planning permission already exists for 60 properties.

Wychavon District Council

1. North Claines: [The parish abuts the northern boundary of Worcester city] The area is identified as suitable and accessible to contribute to some of Worcester’s needs. Sites already identified in SWDP. They identify a further site in Fernhill for development.

2. Drakes Broughton: No specific sites identified. Existing committed sites identified (either under planning application or development approved.

3. Bredon: Identified a site for 24 homes to meet locally identified housing needs.

4. Cleeve Prior: No specific sites identified.

Malvern Hills District Council

1. Clifton upon Teme: Planning permission exists for recent development, and current commitment for 118 properties. No further sites identified. Supports small scale infill development.

2. Kempsey: [Near to Worcester city] Already 2,435 new properties in major development identified in the SWDP.

3. Martley: SWDP site allocation and site commitments with either planning application or development approval. I also include a list of possible ‘errors’ that have been passed to me for review.

2. Policy EH2 Page 24

(i) Regarding use of the nomenclature - The Common. This suggests it is common land, open to all, which it isn’t.- [ex ‘Mrs Robbin’s Orchard’]. At the very least, in the NP the reason for use of the name be explained, including the fact that it is private land, with a public footpath running through it. Consider changing the description, or at the very least, putting site-description in quotations – i.e. ‘The Common’

(ii) Confusion regarding ‘Designated Green Spaces’. A number of queries regarding:

(a) Ownership. It was frequently presumed that all the designated land was owned by the Council. This needs further clarifying in the text as to ownership etc. Although ownership, where known, is included in the ERJ perhaps a paragraph of clarification (or reference link) would be useful in the NP document also.

(b) Affect on Planning situation of the land. This needs elaborating as to the legal position and repercussions of declaring a Green Space. e.g. Does it mean NO development – ever – or can owners still apply, and potentially get planning approval etc.

3. Policy EH5, Page 31 - Protected Views

Apart from the view from the road to Atch Lench, outside the Parish Boundary, NO other specific views from publicly accessible areas are included for protection in the Leys Road area. This has upset residents of that area, who see a large number of protected views listed, only in the ‘old’ village, and are concerned at the potential future loss of their views into the adjacent countryside.

For example, Map 12, Page 35: No views are included from the public footpath [500(C)], running from Alcester Road, behind Brookdale etc. parallel with Leys Road. There are a number of views from there looking both towards the Lenches and back towards the village that could be considered equally worth specifically identifying and protecting.

Relevant information, and photos, can be found at Street Scenes and Views under Group B at: https://harvingtonplan.uk/Surveys/StreetScenesAndViews-2017/index.html referring to the views from The Orchard [V2]; from the public highway near The Orchard [V3], and from the public footpath 500(C) [V1].

4. Policy IH2 – Housing Mix Page 63

Can consideration be given to additional elaboration in paragraph 5, for example, to include reference to Wychavon supported-policy for Affordable Home Ownership; ‘Help to Buy Midlands’ found under:


This referenced page includes, amongst other schemes, Shared Ownership, and Discounted Market Sale or Fixed Equity, with up to 30% equity discount (with strings – e.g. show local connections and restrictions on onward sale) possible. This could, if positively encouraged in new developments, provide better chances for villagers to remain in the village.

Facebook etc. discussions strongly suggests a ‘hidden’ need for local housing for children of village families to buy ‘starter’ homes within the village exists that did not surface in the original survey.

5. Policy IH5 Page 67

(i) The wording for second paragraph :

‘…...for community use should include….’ Request consideration that should be changed to could or may - as in the future, a building may not be felt necessary, and other community uses may be identified (e.g. Sports/football field) for the area. ERJ comments/justification (Survey Question 4 & 5) noted, but ask for a review of this wording to permit flexibility. Changing wording does not preclude community building, just not so restrictive/proscriptive on future need. Where is the supportive evidence from the village, either in the NP or ERJ for the necessity to include either a new Village Hall or an extra Community Area?

(ii) It is realised that there is no way of going back in time, but anger was expressed that the Council chose not to contact and pre-warn the residents who would be most affected by the proposed designated development as soon as the decision to include in NP was reached. The shock of finding it in the draft NP was a bombshell to many villagers, not only those in site-adjacent properties. Under normal Planning, the District Council always contacts those residents for comments on any development proposals – what is different in this case, that such, at least a courteous notification or contact was not made?

The reasoning as to why they were not directly contacted prior to draft NP needs explanation and recording in Council minutes. It is not enough to state that information was in the public domain. Particularly in such specific circumstances it cannot be assumed affected villagers would read the Council minutes in the Village News, or attend Parish Meetings or the Fete to get the information in the public domain.

6. Appraisal Boundary B3 Page 86

Marsh Close is a cul-de-sac of 4 houses off the main estate, which is The Rowans. Could the map be altered to show as The Rowans rather than Marsh Lane.

7. ERJ Page 24 – Development Boundary: Proposed Changes

This map was available at the public sessions, and created quite a bit of confusion. It was modified to include properties already constructed, but also used the same Legend colour for the proposed new development and community-use area.

Perhaps, to clarify and remove any confusion, if approved by the PC, the proposed new development and community-use area be presented in a different colour, and listed separately in the Legend.

Is there a requirement to change the boundary to include any proposed development site? - I agree it seems logical and sensible (if this site is accepted, after discussion, for inclusion in NP by Parish Council) but one wonders why other Councils did not find it necessary to alter the boundary.

[It was interesting to note that not all published Neighbourhood Development Plans in the nearby areas had chosen to modify the development boundary, even where proposed development sites (or designated SWDP development sites) shown on their maps were adjacent to the existing boundary].

025 Land owner

Policy LFL3 – Map 15

The area of land marked on Map 15 as the village hall expansion site, attached, belongs to us. It has never been registered as this is not a requirement of ownership. Our solicitors hold necessary legal documents to certify our ownership. We suggest you amend your plans and maps accordingly for future reference so your information and facts are correct. NB: Map attached.

026 Local resident

I and writing to express my concern for the proposed development of housing in Harvington.

Policy IH5

The housing would sit directly at the back of our property which currently overlooks beautiful countryside with wonderful views, it pains me that we may potentially now be facing a building site then a housing development for the next 20 years in what we hoped would be our forever home.

We have a baby daughter that I feel this would disturb greatly, noise, extra traffic throughout the village and extra pressures to accommodate more children at the village school really do impact on existing local families and residents. 

All in all although I am in no way ignorant to the fact we need more housing and starter housing for young families like ourselves it would be an awful shame that yet another section of green space is filled with buildings. 

Please think on behalf of your existing residents before making a decision. 

027 Local resident

Policy IH5

We would like lodge our strong objections to any proposed Development.
Firstly, this is a small Village with more than adequate community facilities to serve the population. We are located within easy reach of Evesham & Stratford by Bus or Car which offers the community all other amenities such as sports, Libraries, Shopping, Leisure and Housing etc.
We choose to live in a Village for many reasons, the peace and tranquillity, the small and friendly community, the Countryside on our Doorstep but within reach of a Town if we need it.
This proposal will:

a) Increase traffic in and out of the village onto what is already a hazardous crossroads with accidents already recorded.
b) Increased noise & pollution which extra housing and community facilities will inevitably create
c) The School, already overstretched.
d) The Bus stop?
e) A country walk from Village Street to the Farm Shop enjoyed by many for the views and tranquillity-lost!
The need for additional housing in the village is minimal and with a huge amount of Development in nearby Evesham will go a long way to facilitating this need.

On a personal note, we purchased our home 12 months ago and have invested our life savings into what we thought would be our forever home. Our searches revealed that a proposal for the Development of adjacent land had been refused and as a result of this we chose to Buy.
Had there been any indication, even after we had purchased we would most certainly have modified the plans for any extension and improvement. 
We are now in an impossible situation, half way through the Build! We cannot undo what has been done we cannot sell until house is finished and probably could not find a buyer in this present uncertain condition.
Lastly I come from a small village in Somerset where we were faced with a similar situation of proposed Development - permission was eventually granted for a small percentage of the build which, once built, increased, the village is sadly no longer, it's now a Town, a reality to be taken seriously if we want this community to remain as it is.

028 Local resident

Policy IH5

We both think having looked at the Plan at the Village Hall for the Neighbourhood Development if we are just looking at the 35 houses mentioned that looks very acceptable.

The other policies also look very good.

A lot of thought and work has been put into this from our parish council and we thank them for this.

029 Local resident

Policy 4.1

I agree that village boundaries should be altered to incorporate areas designated.

Policy IH5

Building of new houses should be allowed. The Village has got too big to stay as it is. Bidford-on-Avon is a shining example on how to do it right.

030 Local resident

Policy IH5

My property backs on to the field for proposed development of 35 houses. 

I do not understand how you are able to put that in on P.67 of the plan without informing all the householders affected as Gladman had to do when they wanted to develop the land.

I am not happy about that as we currently have a nice outlook onto the field.  We do not want that site developed.  I worry that it will raise the risk of flooding onto our driveway and garage if the field is concreted over as all the rain water runoff will come down the hill towards our back garden, driveway and garage.  

I am also not happy about the access to the 35 properties being on a road where the current footpath is as this will mean demolition of the bus stop and the three trees next to the bus stop.  We argued against Gladman doing this too.  I also feel a road junction at that point could be a hazard as it is opposite the bus stop at the Golden Cross where the school children wait in the morning.  I do not see why this needs to be developed when in the last year or so several small developments have been built in Harvington and 9 houses have permission to be built at the top of Crest Hill so your number of 35 properties needed should be reduced to take account of what has been built recently.

I also do not feel there is a need for a community area on Village Street behind the current bus stop.  We have the park and Jubilee Orchard and numerous footpaths.  That area could maybe have 3 or 4 small houses built, as you say there is a need for smaller properties in Harvington.

Policy T2

On a positive note I think the Cycle paths will be great and encourage us all to cycle more.  The roads surrounding Harvington are fast so to have the safety of cycle paths would be a huge benefit.

Plan P.56

Also the footbridge at Harvington Lock to link up to Offenham would also be a great benefit as it will link the 2 villages.


The land behind the Village Hall would look a lot tidier if it could be fenced off and used for the Preschool and other Village Hall Users as an outdoor space.  It could be a really nice open space.  It would also be of benefit to the community if the pathway to the park along the village hall could be resurfaced as it has many potholes.

Another area I feel should be looked at is outside the Golden Cross on Village Street. The children wait there in the morning and there is no clear line of where the pavement ends and the road begins I would like to see a kerb put in there as it would make the children safer and I'm sure the bus users would love to have a bus shelter there too.

031 Local resident

Policy 1H1 Page 62

While villagers may like 3/4 houses per year it is unrealistic in the present day. At least 100 not 40 will have to be accepted.

Policy 1H2 Page 63

Fine and I hope it can be held to.

Policy 1H4 Page 65

Something to fight for against all the odds.

Policy 1H5 Page 67

This will expand to the 100 houses indicated in my comment re 1H1. I do not believe in another community building to divide the village. Access to this site is not good and appalling for 100 houses.

A very good document but I wonder how much of the good work proposed will be acted upon.

032 Local resident

Policy 1H5 Page 67

I live on Evesham Road and my property backs on to the field for proposed development of 35 houses. 

I do not understand how you are able to put that in on P.67 out of 144 pages of the plan without informing all the householders affected as Gladman had to do when they wanted to develop the land.  People are busy and not everyone has the time to read your plan.  The leaflet you put through our door does not mention where the 35 houses are to be developed.  This a major change for people.

I am not happy about that as we currently have a nice outlook onto the field.  We do not want that site developed.  I worry that it will raise the risk of flooding onto our driveway and garage if the field is concreted over as all the rain water runoff will come down the hill towards our back garden, driveway and garage.  

I am also not happy about the access to the 35 properties being on a road where the current footpath is as this will mean demolition of the bus stop and the three trees next to the bus stop.  We argued against Gladman doing this too and there was a campaign to save the bus stop.  I also feel a road junction at that point could be a hazard as it is opposite the bus stop at the Golden Cross where the school children wait in the morning.  I do not see why this needs to be developed when in the last year or so several small developments have been built in Harvington and 9 houses have permission to be built at the top of Crest Hill so your number of 35 properties needed should be reduced to take account of what has been built recently.

I also do not feel there is a need for a community area on Village Street behind the current bus stop.  We have the park and jubilee Orchard and numerous footpaths.  That area could maybe have 3 or 4 small houses built, as you say there is a need for smaller properties in Harvington.  Or maybe 2 Bungalows which there is also a need for.

Policy T2

On a positive note I think the Cycle paths will be great and encourage us all to cycle more.  The roads surrounding Harvington are fast so to have the safety of cycle paths would be a huge benefit.  It will make cycling more accessible to families

Plan P.56

Also the footbridge at Harvington Lock to link up to Offenham would also be a great benefit as it will link the 2 villages which will increase visitors to Harvington.

The land behind the Village Hall would look a lot tidier if it could be fenced off and used for the Preschool and other Village Hall Users as an outdoor space.  It could be a really nice open space.  It would also be of benefit to the community if the pathway to the park along the village hall could be resurfaced as it has many potholes.

The park could do with some new play equipment and perhaps an outdoor table tennis table and some adult exercise equipment to get all ages more active.  Similar equipment could be put in at the Jubilee Orchard too.

Another area I feel should be looked at is outside the Golden Cross on Village Street. The children wait there in the morning and there is no clear line of where the pavement ends and the road begins I would like to see a kerb put in there as it would make the children safer and I'm sure the bus users would love to have a bus shelter there too.

033 Local resident

Policy 1H5 Page 67

First of all, why is there even a proposal being put forward for a development plan for Harvington, when others were recently turned down? Apparently Wychavon Council want more houses built in Worcestershire - that's not to say Harvington! The need for more housing in the Village is minimal. There are adequate houses being built in Evesham, only about four miles away, and also quite a few other sites on the outskirts to accommodate. There is a good bus service to these areas and they are only minutes away by car.

Harvington is a lovely Vale of Evesham Village and should remain so. The view of our Village, approaching from the Evesham end is outstanding. 35 houses and a Community Centre built there would totally ruin the appearance of the Village from this side. Why a Community Centre etc? We already have a Village Hall which has very little use, maybe due to the high cost of hire. There is also a children’s playing field at the back.

Then there is the matter of the 'Bus Stop'. Why now, after several refusals, has the Parish Council suggested knocking this down to allow for a road. This bus stop is quite a historic part of Harvington!

Our School is full enough already and doesn't need more children - too many children in a class means the standard could drop. There would be an increase in pollution and noise in the Village.

As far as affordable houses for Villagers children is concerned, the people of Harvington have managed for several years, as they have in other communities. Many of us have had to start at the beginning, at the bottom of the ladder and work our way up to be able to live in such a lovely Hamlet. That's what a Village is - not to be spoilt by 'starter homes' being built - there will no longer be any Villages to work up to. That's been the way though life.

The residents of Harvington have already shown their feelings about this sort of development in our Village. Surely the Parish Council will speak for us and put a stop to this Development before it gets too far off the ground.

35 houses will mean approximately 70 more cars using that small road and Village Street plus their visitors, doctors etc. Then there's the cross roads which can already be quite hazardous having already had several accidents there, on occasion needing the Air Ambulance.

Then we should take into account the terrible disruption while the ground is being prepared and the houses constructed. There would be JCB’s, diggers, all sorts of noisy building machinery, not to mention the muddy roads etc. all using Village Street and this would go on for some considerable time.

We purchased our house because of the outstanding views at the back of the house over the fields to the beautiful Cotswold Hills beyond and the Village location. To be able to see this view we had the tedious task of taking down approx. 25 very large conifer trees and some others, spending days with a stump grinder –very hard work. We have worked extremely hard and spent quite a bit of money on our property. All this because we have always lived in the country and to have all this spoilt would be devastating. These properties at the back of our house would substantially de-value our home, which we hoped would be out forever retirement home.

Our garden backs on to the field where it is proposed that the building takes place. You can imagine what a blow it was to read that this may happen. Apparently there were meetings as to where this should take place in the Village. Please note no one living in the line of houses affected was consulted.

We have lived in the Evesham area most of our married lives and before we purchased our home we made it our business to find out if there were proposals to build and learned that there had been a few and they had all been turned down. If we had known that there was this possibility, we would not have bought the house in the first place and certainly would not have spent so much money, time and effort on it. If this building goes ahead, we will have to seriously consider selling again. We’re already retired so don’t want to take on another project of this size. We’re now about half way through. We have to complete it. With the proposal to possibly build houses at the bottom of our garden going on, we wouldn’t be able to sell for quite a considerable time anyway.

We all know that once permission is granted for 35 houses to be built somewhere, this will be the starter for many more and before we know it there will be the vast amount that was applied for and turned down a couple of years ago.

Parish Council - We are absolutely without question against this proposal and you should act on the Villagers behalf and say NO.

We would like to be informed where residents can view all letters sent in.

034 Local resident

Firstly we would like to commend all of those involved with the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for reaching this stage, and all of the effort required to reach this point. We have some comments on the Plan, as follows.


The draft National Planning Policy Framework was published in March 2018 and is anticipated to be completed and published in Summer 2018. It would be prudent to wait until the NPPF is published before the Neighbourhood Plan is formally submitted to Wychavon District Council, to ensure that the NP is in general conformity.


The South Worcestershire Development Plan is now being reviewed, with a call for sites issued by Wychavon District Council. It will be necessary for the NP to be reviewed once the SWDP is adopted, to ensure conformity with SWDP policies. This is to ensure that the NP holds sufficient weight in the planning process. Similarly, it will be necessary for the Parish Council to review the policies of any emerging SWDP and to comment as appropriate, in the context of an adopted NP.

Policy EH1 - Green Infrastructure

Part A of this policy should include a part d) which requires an agricultural land assessment to be included as part of any planning application, in order to assess the grade and quality of land to be lost, and its significance to the local area.

Part C of this policy does not appear to be compliant with the NPPF as it suggests that veteran trees/mature trees/ancient hedgerows can be compensated for by a net gain in tree or hedge planting. It should be reworded to reflect paragraph 118, which sets out a presumption against any loss of these types of vegetation:

“planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss…”

Part D appears to be overly onerous and is unreasonable. Fruit trees do not require planning permission to be removed. This will only encourage developers to remove trees before submitting any application.

Policy EH2 - Local Green Spaces

It is necessary to consult with the landowners of these spaces to ensure that they agree that these areas are to be designated as local green spaces.

Policy BT2 - Village Retail and Service Outlets

This policy includes no cap on the size of A1 to A4 uses. A cap is suggested of 280 sqm to ensure that proposals are proportionate to the surrounding village environment.

Proposals will be subject to the sequential test as the village has no defined centre and therefore if support is given to such proposals, they will need to be of ‘neighbourhood significance’ in scale. This should be worded within the policy in accordance with definitions in the NPPF.

The policy should be explicit that A5 uses are not acceptable, given the associated amenity and transport considerations arising from hot-food takeaways.

Similarly a line should be added to state that garages/farm shops etc, should be of a scale appropriate to the surrounding location (think of the Valley and how small that once was) and to seek to minimise transport impact.

A line should be added to say that proposals will need to demonstrate that they do not have a negative impact on nearby residential amenity or traffic impact, and that adequate provision has been made for parking on-site (to avoid on-street parking).

Policy T1 -Sustainable management of private transport

Additional text should be added to the first paragraph to set out that it needs to be demonstrated that there is sufficient rather than adequate provision for parking.

In respect of the electric charging facilities this should be specific to state a minimum of 1 external charger (otherwise arguably you could use an internal plug).

Policy IH1 and Policy IH5Housing Growth and Designated development site

The SWDP includes sufficient housing allocations for Wychavon to adequately meet the objectively assessed need (OAN) of the District during the Plan period. As at May 2018, Wychavon had a housing land supply of 7.48 years, significantly above the 5 year requirement of national policy. As such it is unclear why the NP seeks to allocate such a large amount of additional dwellings on one site when there is i) no housing land need within the District and ii) certainly the number of dwellings proposed is substantially above the identified local housing need for Harvington.

Other locations within the District are considerably more sustainable, as noted in the Crest Hill appeal decision, such that development should be directed towards urban areas.


Other concerns include:

  • the poor location of the only available vehicular access point

  • it includes the majority of a site that was previously refused planning permission. That decision cited numerous concerns including:

  • development within the open countryside

  • limited range of facilities within the village such that development was likely to generate substantial additional vehicular trips

  • Whilst the site is smaller it does not appear to have overcome any of the previous reasons for refusal. As such arguably it is not deliverable or developable in accordance with the NPPF requirements.

  • Impact on residential amenity is extensive, particularly given the access point for such a large number of dwellings.

The community area is unnecessary given that the village already has a village hall. Instead, any development of the site if progressed should provide funding for the village hall extension, as well as a parking area for the school/village hall, rather than a new building.

We consider that the designated site should be substantially reduced in scale.

We trust that the above points will be taken into consideration in respect of the NP. Should the NP not be amended, this representation will be submitted as part of the Regulation 16 consultation.

035 Local resident

Overall the presentation and comprehensive content of this Plan and the efforts of all involved should be highly commended.

Policy IH5

Housing– Whilst understanding the ethos and logic of siting the 35 new houses opposite the Golden Cross, it does not perhaps reflect the overall wishes of residents of the village as the most opportune site and to some extent undermines all the villagers fought for at the time of the Gladman applications and the protection of the bus shelter and its artwork.

Overall it does however provide a firm development and building boundary, subject to any vagaries and changes in Government planning rules in the future, and that must be a positive step and policy.

However, there could still be more thought given to also making use of this space as a future site for a more comprehensive community centre usage to replace the present Village Hall and provide a multi-use facility with full parking facilities as well as recreational space. This could then free up the existing Village Hall ground space to provide some, albeit limited, parking spaces for school traffic which could benefit the village.

A larger community centre type building would give residents more daytime use of this facility instead of it being monopolised by one user as at present. It may also have potential to provide further facilities for other outside services such as Health, Post Office, etc.

Page 44

The creation of recreational space in this area would also create more of a focal heart to the village as well as provide a play/sports area in public view which could also overcome some of the vandalism and misuse of the current play area which are too out of sight.

Tourism - Harvington may not currently be a “Tourist Destination” as such but could become a Tourism Hub or Centre as a “Gateway to the Vale”.

To achieve this, we would need to establish a “Brand” – perhaps the church steeple which is seen from far and wide could be our trademark. In addition, car parking and visitor information boards, website information and leaflets for distribution to VIC’s and other visitor destinations, would be needed.

Anything that can encourage visitors to the Village will make the 2 pubs, and the shop more viable and sustainable

What can Harvington offer? We perhaps need to look more at the niche market tourist/visitor population – people looking for something different they have not done before or following a hobby/pastime

A.Church Tourism – to include visits to the church, developing the church as a start point for the Preedy Trail, Bell Ringing Groups, access to church registers for amateur genealogists.

B. Walking Groups – develop Harvington as a start and finish point for a selection of walks of varying lengths and interests

C.Cycling Groups – as 2 above

D.Blossom Trail – a refreshment stop on the Trail for motorists and coach groups. Visit an Orchard and involve the D.Jubilee Orchard with its varieties of interest as they mature

E. Encourage Caravanners, Golfers, Fishermen, Shooters and Boaters to use Village facilities more – a captive market on the doorstep.

F.Work with Ellenden Farm shop on their seasonal Events

Develop a series of summer events to encourage visitors and locals to get to know the Village – Village Walkabout, Open Gardens, and Asparagus Event linked to local Festival, Beer festivals, Scarecrow Trail.

I appreciate these only addresses two key topics of the many areas covered by the Draft Plan, but these reflect the key areas I feel most strongly about, and it would take too many pages to address every area of this otherwise excellent way forward for our village

036 Local resident

Policy IH5

After living and working in Harvington for most of my 58 years, I have always been happy with the gradual growth of the village and the way the residents and parish council between us keep it a pleasant place to live.

Over the years the fields at the back of our bungalow have certainly attracted some attention! 

You are now asking me if I am happy with the proposal of "around" 35 dwellings and community uses being built on this land.

 If like Mr Gladman you are proposing to build a terrace of 5/6 houses looking directly down into my garden, then the answer would be "NO" I am not happy with it.

If the parish councils and future developers would just take a moment to consider the residents on the edge of these new sites. If I am going to lose my wall to wall open skyline, please let it be as painless as possible. 

037 Local resident

Policy IH5

Unfortunately I have some concern regarding the site allocation for thirty-five homes. Whilst I understand there is always a need for new housing, I feel there could be traffic problems if these homes were given the go -ahead. If these houses are built, most of them will likely have at least one vehicle which could potentially contribute towards traffic problems during the work rush hour and school run.

Firstly, the required access roadway which will come out onto Village Street is close to The Golden Cross pub and school pupils wait around here in the morning for public transport. An increase in traffic in this area could possibly compromise safety.

Secondly there is the issue of increased traffic at the cross-roads by Leys Road. As a mother of two children who are at schools in Evesham, I am at The Leys Road cross-roads at around 8.05am during term time, and find this a busy crossing at times. Adding more traffic to this area could result in traffic chaos.

A third concern of mine is that the road could be close to the existing bus shelter which could be problematic in terms of pedestrian safety. There’s also the possibility this shelter could be knocked down to make way for the road which would be a great pity as this shelter has been here for many years. I’m aware that the bus stops were painted by a local artist and children in the village around six years ago, therefore special to Harvington.

Page 56

However, the plan has some excellent ideas in terms of building a bridge over the lock between Harvington and Offenham, linking the two villages together and bringing extra business to the pub restaurants either side of the lock.

Thank you for taking time to read my views.

038 Local resident

Policy EH2: Local Green Spaces.

See Map 9 p26: Protected Views. FP 500 crosses a large field entered via Alcester Road. This path and the field it crosses are both used daily by rambling groups, villagers and dog walkers and is a well-used amenity. I contend together they constitute a valued local green space.

Policy EH5: Protected Views

See Map 11 p35 and lists p32 – 34: The outward view from FP 500 as it crosses the field from Alcester Road across farmland is typical of this farming area and is worth preserving.

Appendix B: Village Character Appraisal

See Figure 1 p86: The road marked as Marsh Close is actually The Rowans.

039 Local resident

Aspirations :Crest Hill/ Abbott Salford footpath

I would request the Council to add onto the Neighbourhood Plan the re-installation of a proper footpath at the base of Crest Hill connecting with the highway footpath leading towards Abbots Salford and on to Salford Priors. At the moment pedestrians have to walk on the road around the “T” junction entrance to Crest Hill. This is both dangerous, particularly in the winter months, for walkers and anyone who is vulnerable and or with mobility issues.

Policy IH1, 1H2, 1H4, 1H5, Housing.

I would like the Council to consider the number of planned new homes.

Based on previous and projected progress with the Neighbourhood Plan to date, it seems the earliest that the NP is likely to get adopted will be around 2019. There will be just over 10 years remaining until 2030, (not 15 years as indicated in the NP).

The South Worcestershire Development plan up to the year 2030 calculated that the “planned growth “new homes for Harvington was for 9 dwellings (“windfall developments” excluded). While understanding the methodology used in the NP to determine the new 35 homes, this may be far too many homes over a short plan period of 10 years.

I would request the Parish Council to give consideration to release the 35 homes under a phased programme that goes beyond the 10 years – say for example 10 homes up to 2030 with the remainder into the next plan period (say 2030 to 2045).

040 Local resident

I should be grateful if you would accept this representation as an objection to the Harvington Neighbourhood Development Plan.

To satisfy this objective the plan has allocated land for residential development off Village Street.

More specifically my objection relates to:

Objective 3: Housing growth which states that:

The NDP should sustain growth in new dwellings at the same rate as the previous 10 years.

To satisfy this objective the plan has allocated land for residential development off Village Street.

The reasons for my objection are as follows:

  • The South Worcestershire Development Plan is up to date and relevant. The policies in the SWDP provide a policy framework for development up to 2030. The SWDP is based on sound and comprehensive research which enabled an Inspector to recommend that the plan be adopted following examination. The Sustainability Appraisal which supports the SWDP identifies that the spatial policy for residential development within the SWDP is sustainable and in conformity with the NPPF. The spatial policies for residential development are set out at SWDP 2. The Sustainability Appraisal concludes that:

‘Community objectives are also supported in the long term by the policy which directs growth proportionately with the highest volume of homes and employment land allocated to existing urban and market centres. There is the potential for some short term disbenefit to existing communities arising from the disturbance effects on new development. The policy [SWDP2] also ensures that the identity of the smaller/ rural settlements is maintained by managing development volumes, but also supported in the long term by allowing new/proportionate growth in suitable areas.’

In respect of Harvington the spatial residential policy determined that the appropriate development volume for the Plan period was 9 dwellings. This resulted in an allocation of this amount of residential development on a site at Crest Hill which now has the benefit of a planning permission. My opinion is that a further residential allocation, as proposed in the NDP, is not in conformity with the SWDP and as a consequence the NPPF.

  • The calculation of the growth rate is flawed as it uses two different periods to reach the outcome. The calculation uses housing delivered over 25years whereas the SWDP only looks as far back as 2006. In addition, the calculation underestimates the potential for housing to be delivered by windfall. The figures contained in Appendix 8 of SWDP identify that within Harvington over the period 2006 to 2017, 24 dwellings were consented on windfall sites. This gives an annual rate of 2.1 and over the plan period a figure of 27.3.

Notwithstanding the strong spatial policy objection set out above the site assessment carried out by AECOM is flawed and cannot be relied up in support of the proposed allocation. The background section of the AECOM report states that:

In this context it is anticipated that the Neighbourhood Planning site selection process, aided by this report, will be robust enough to meet the Basic Conditions considered by the Independent Examiner, as well as any potential legal challenges by developers and other interested parties.

I don’t not think that the AECOM report satisfies this test.

041 Local resident

I thought the plan was very fair in all areas & agreed with the number & location of future properties and had no objection to any items contained within the future plan for our village.

Policy T2 and P.56

As an avid cyclist and with a child now starting to ride further afield I was particularly impressed with the inclusion of Cycle paths and linking into the cycle paths throughout the Vale. The possibility of a bridge across the Avon for walking and cycling was the highlight for our household and having crossed the weir in the past with bike over my shoulder this will certainly be a huge improvement. While beneficial to people from our own village for leisure and commuting into Evesham it will also attract cyclist and walking groups from the other side of the river that would not contemplate the rather hazardous route along the A46 bypass.

042 Local resident

I am making these comments on the NDP on behalf of my wife We would first like to congratulate Chris Haynes and the Plan Steering Group on the quality and scope of the Plan. It is of necessity a weighty document and we have tried our best to read and understand the ‘Evidence’ section and the resultant Plan proposals. The areas where we would like to comment are:
 1. Future housing needs and development and
 2. A new village meeting place.

The areas where we would like to comment are:
 1. Future housing needs and development and
 2. A new village meeting place.

Policy IH5
1. We accept the reasoning behind the preferred need for ‘organic’ growth in new housing stock which suggests a need for 35 new homes over the 10 year period of the plan; excluding the already planned new homes and any individual houses such as that being built next to the Coach and Horses public house. The only suitable site identified is site ‘A’ which is the area off Village Street opposite the Golden Cross.
The question/comment we would first ask with regard to this site is whether it is large enough to accommodate 35 new homes at an acceptable density.
Access to this area was originally proposed by Gladman Developments off Village Street by demolishing the bus shelter. This was successfully resisted by the ‘Harvington Says No Campaign’. However Gladman proposed a much larger development than the 35 homes possibly being considered for this site. Demolition of the bus shelter could be justified for a much smaller development with fewer traffic movements.
However there are 2 fine Plane trees either side if the bus shelter which if possible must be retained. There is also an Oak tree just behind the bus shelter and some other less significant trees elsewhere on the site. If possible any development of this site should preserve any significant trees.

The evidence from the housing needs survey indicates a need for 1/2 bedroom bungalows, 39% of which should provide supported living, and 1/2 bedroom ‘starter’ homes for singles and couples wishing to get on to the ‘housing ladder’. However it is also suggested elsewhere in the NDP that only 10% of new homes should be for bungalows and 10% for ’starter’ homes. This would only provide a total on 7 out of 35 for these two categories which we consider is inadequate. Furthermore it is suggested that there is an undersupply of 18 1/2 bedroom bungalows and possibly a similar need for ’starter’ homes. We would ask therefore that the NDP refines the type of the 35 new homes proposed to better reflect these demonstrated needs. 
We would agree that a development of 35 new homes should incorporate pipe work for the retro provision of a community energy scheme.

2. We are puzzled by the fact that 62% of residents see a need for a new village meeting place within the period of the NDP; 10 years. Surely our excellent Village Hall and the other places in the village utilised for various activities i.e. The School Hall, the Baptist Chapel, St. James Church, the 2 public houses and now the Ellenden Farm shop cafe are more than adequate for the needs of a village which is only going to grow ‘organically’?

043 Local resident

Policy IH5

We understand the thinking behind the preparation of the plan and also the need, nationally, for additional housing to be built.  We don’t, in principle, have any issue with the construction to new houses where the developments are considered, well planned and do not unnecessarily and negatively affect the incumbent residents of the proposed development area.

The proposal within the town plan to build 35 houses (policy IH5) on the land referred to as Site A on Map 21 does present some concerns and we believe that these must be considered carefully and that the plan should be modified.  

  1. Flooding.  In February 2016 we acquired a flood report on the area from Homecheck Professional (part of the Landmark Information Group) which indicates that the potential flood risk from surface water, during inclement weather, in the immediate area around our house is at a medium level i.e. 10 cm to 30 cm. The fact that the area behind our house is open fields (Site A) provides relief from this as surface water will naturally drain away.  Our concern is that, should houses be built there, this natural drainage will be lost and any installed drainage will not be of adequate capacity to deal with the high level of surface water we have witnessed on occasions since we moved here.  As such we would see the surface water flood risk to our house and those of our neighbours increase exponentially.

  2. Light.  The proposed Site A is not large and building 35 houses would potentially entail building very closely to the existing properties. Our first concern here is that the natural light to the rear and side of house will be substantially reduced if large numbers of houses are built along our boundary.

  3. Privacy.  Alongside point 2 we are concerned that, should a large number of houses be built close to our boundary, the privacy we enjoy both in our house and outside in our garden will be strongly and negatively impinged upon if we are overlooked by these properties and their occupants.

  4. Access. Building a further 35 houses in Harvington would increase the pressure on the local road network, which is already under strain.  There are regular complaints aired about double parking and inconsiderate driving near the local school in Village Street and cars linked to 35 more homes would only increase this pressure.

  5. Infrastructure.  Harvington does not have a post office, a doctor’s surgery, a dentist or other such facilities. It only has one small convenience store, with limited and rather expensive products. The local school has a limited capacity.  The building of a further 35 houses would mean more people needing to travel to other local towns (mainly Evesham) to access these facilities and services; with any children living in the houses either needing to be bussed to schools elsewhere.  The bus service in the area is very limited and as such does not offer a viable alternative for people living here already or moving onto these proposed new houses.

  6. Employment. There are no businesses of any size in the immediate area, so these new residents would be travelling elsewhere to find work. This would again involve increased road traffic in the area.

  7. Recreation.  From our house we are able to look out across the first of the two fields covered by Site A and there is a constant daily traffic of local residents walking their dogs, cycling and people riding horses.  Building on this site would take that valuable facility away from the local residents and may affect current resident’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.  

  8. Environment.  Adding a substantial number of homes to this small community would, as outlined above, have an adverse effect on our environment from increased flood risk, to increased light pollution through heavier road traffic and on to the carbon and other emissions that would be generated by each new household.

  9. In summary, our view is that it would be better to focus any local building on more modest projects on brown field sites, rather than a fairly substantial development on what is a green field location.

044 Local resident

Policy IH5

PLANNING APPLICATION NO (Harvington Parish Council)

Proposed erection of 35 houses adjacent fields to Ellenden Farm behind current houses along Village street

I write in connection with the above planning application. I have examined the plans and I know the site well. I wish to object strongly to the development of these houses in this location.

Following a meeting with local planning authority and presented various documentation and reference to Government policy for site-specific local development which is up for private development to my knowledge has not yet been approved by local council and its represented community.

This land outlined for potential development should be considered very carefully and by continued development could ruin the character of the village as development has already taken place within the village during 2017\2018 with more land already approved for additional housing (Near the village church)

Estate development would overwhelm Harvington and erode \ loose its identity as a friendly village forever.

The protection of open land from a visual, and nature qualities is also supported by Policy C6 in local planning – Refer to below extract;

C6, Insects of the wider countryside (butterflies).

Butterflies respond rapidly to changes in environmental conditions and habitat management, occur in a wide range of habitats, and are representative of many other insects, in that they utilize areas with abundant plant food resources. Butterflies are complementary to birds and bats as an indicator, especially the habitat specialists, because they use resources in the landscape at a much finer spatial scale than either of these groups.

The indicator consists of two measures of annual butterfly population abundance: the first for specialist butterflies (species strongly associated with semi-natural habitats such as unimproved grassland) and the second for butterflies found in both semi-natural habitats and the wider countryside. Both measures show marked fluctuations from year to year, principally in response to weather conditions.

In addition planning should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities already available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions inclusive and not limited to;

Local neighbourhood planning and development consultation with the community for site allocations with transparent visibility of what the development plan looks like inclusive of affordable housing for qualifying local people.

        The proposed community area is what?  - We already have a village green, Church, School, pubs etc.….? 

As the site is subject to this proposal and therefore has not been approved and taking into account that planning by the local authority's previous planning decisions in the area has been declined on two occasions why do we need to continue putting pressure on local residents who have either lived in this idyllic environment for some considerable time or have simply worked hard in order to integrate as a incomer in local village life of which I am one.

We moved into Harvington in June 2017 so less than one year, The reason why we as a family chose Harvington is peace within a calm village environment. At no time during the search was any pending proposal presented, only rejections of all previous proposals to date.

WE would NEVER have brought the property and invested all our hard earned savings (£40,000) to date and simply looked elsewhere.

Another reason for rejecting also to include the inadequacy of additional traffic from the lanes and from main road traffic to accommodate even small increases in traffic to the proposed site is dangerous and irresponsible by local authority.

Additional road into the proposed site would destroy ancient field boundaries and the charm to its current aspect and in addition, I am concerned about the current bus stop that has been part of our village life and serves both young and old well.

The proposed site of the development is particularly ill-considered:

It is on a greenfield site used by many villagers and visitors for recreation and walking dogs, and building here would both diminish the view into the village.

The proposed development is not transparent for house design maybe out of keeping with the village's character and while design issues might be solved with conditions or revised proposals, this will not remedy the siting problem.

Furthermore, there is no need for this kind of open market housing development in the village of Harvington has adequate supply of housing to meet local requirements and due to its aging population natural availability is inevitable.

We understand that there seems to be a national need for housing however brown field site should be developed over Greenfield.

045 Local resident

General comments about the plan.

This is an incredibly comprehensive document and a great deal to take in. Its details prove to me that there is little left to say that would affect the plan in its present form so I would just say congratulations to those involved and many thanks for contributing so much which I’m sure will pave the way to keep Harvington a fine village to live in.

046 Local resident

Having read the draft plan this weekend I just wanted to register my thanks for the superb effort the plan team have put in to completing it. I think a thoroughly professional and thoughtful draft, and as someone who has to read this type of document too regularly, that is praise indeed!

I am especially excited by the proposals around improved cycling routes through the parish, especially those crossing the A46 and bridging the River Avon, imaginative!

047 Local resident

I hope I'm not too late in submitting my heartiest congratulations on the fantastic work done on the neighbourhood development plan.  I commend all those who have worked on it. It is a great piece of work showing the excellent community input on all points.

All the main policies are well thought through and have all been written with thought to the future of the village. In particular I was impressed with the footpaths, cycle ways and electric charging points. The 'wish list' was also well thought through with some kind of bridge to Offenham being an excellent idea.
Congratulations to all who have worked in this.