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Developers say Hagley development would bring "significant benefits"
10:00am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
DEVELOPERS behind the application to build 175 homes in Hagley say they are keen to put concerned residents’ minds at rest.
Cala Homes managing director Darren Humphreys says misconceptions about their scheme for an estate on land near the busy junction of Kidderminster Road and Worcester Road could prevent investment in the region.
Mr Humphreys said: "We fully appreciate local communities may have concerns about the impact of new development.
“We have listened to those concerns and are keen to put their minds at rest.
“We are facing a major housing shortage, Bromsgrove District Council’s own Strategic Market Assessment identifies the need for between 6,800 and 7,000 new houses over the next 18 years.
“The site has long been identified for future development and is part of the Bromsgrove District Local Plan.
“The new development will increase traffic at peak times by less than one per cent.
“However, Cala will spend more than £1 million on improvement works to the Kidderminster Road roundabout.
“Without the development, this improvement work will not go ahead.”
Cala Homes say they have offered to pay for an extension to the doctors' surgery in Hagley, which would increase capacity and improve facilities.
They also say, by phasing the development, the arrival of new families will not make a significant impact on each year group at village schools, and the company would contribute more than £750,000 to education in the area.
“We believe this development provides significant benefits for Hagley and it is essential that schemes such as this go ahead in order to meet the future housing needs of local people,” Mr Humphreys added.
A statement from Cala Homes on their proposals for Hagley in full
Cala Homes’ regional managing director Darren Humphreys believes that local people may not be getting the whole picture on the proposed development and says the company is keen to directly address some of the key issues raised.
He comments: “We fully appreciate that local communities may have concerns about the impact of new development in their area. We have listened to those concerns and are keen to put their minds at rest.
“We are facing a major housing shortage. Just last week the government announced new initiatives to help encourage the building of more homes. Bromsgrove District Council’s own Strategic Market Assessment identifies the need for between 6,800 and 7,000 new houses over the next 18 years. The site on Kidderminster Road has long been identified for future development and is part of the Bromsgrove District Local Plan.”
One concern raised locally has been the impact of the new development on local traffic and, in particular, the busy Kidderminster Road roundabout. Darren Humphreys says: “The new development will increase traffic at peak times by less than one per cent. However, Cala will spend over £1million on improvement works to the Kidderminster Road roundabout. This work will improve the traffic flow so that peak period queues are reduced. This will also help improve the current air quality in the area. Further improvement works are also proposed to the junction of Kidderminster Road and Worcester Road.
“Without the development, this improvement work will not go ahead. There simply aren’t the funds available.”
Other concerns have been raised about the impact of more homes on local services in the village including education and healthcare. Cala Homes had originally proposed a new doctor’s surgery on the site but this was removed following discussions with the Primary Care Trust. Cala says it has now offered to help fund an extension to the existing doctor’s surgery which would not only accommodate additional patients, but would greatly improve the facilities for the whole community.
But what about the impact on local schools?
“This is a phased development over four to five years, so the increase in new residents will be a gradual process,” says Darren Humphreys.
“As such, we do not expect the impact on the admissions for each school year to be significant. Both Hagley Primary School and Haybridge High School currently take pupils out of the catchment area.”
If the scheme goes ahead, Cala Homes will also contribute over £750,000 towards education in the area.
The proposed development will offer a wide range of homes, extensive landscaping and public open space. 40 per cent of the properties will be affordable homes, including purpose-built bungalows for the elderly or mobility impaired. 75 per cent of these will be allocated for rented social housing and 25 per cent for shared ownership. However, Cala Homes says it is happy to provide a larger proportion of shared ownership properties, if agreed by the council.
The site, on the southern edge of the village, is part of the Hagley Hall estate and an additional spin off benefit of its development is that the value created will stay in Hagley. Hagley Hall, and its park, has perhaps the most important collection of listed buildings in the district. Funds from the development of the new houses will help maintain, repair and restore these important buildings and the historic registered park.
There will also be financial benefits from the scheme. The development will bring in approximately £1.7million from the New Homes Bonus, a scheme through which the Government provides additional funds to local authorities by matching the council tax raised from the building of new homes for the first six years. The site will also provide 263 direct jobs during construction and the potential to provide at least 50 jobs in new offices being built.
Darren Humphreys continues: “We believe that this development provides significant benefits for Hagley and it is essential that schemes such as this go ahead in order to meet the future housing needs of local people.”