Campaigners bid to raise concerns in Parliament

By Gary Smee Thursday 15 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 14:17

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Buy photos » Campaigners are trying to stop all 'unnecessary development' in Broadway.

CAMPAIGNERS attempting to stop all 'unnecessary' development in Broadway are looking to get more than 100,000 signatures of support so they can take the issue to Parliament.

More than 300 villagers attended a meeting organised by the Save Broadway campaign group where they raised numerous concerns about large developments planned for the picturesque village.

One of their main worries was they felt ill-considered plans from central government would open the doors to profiteering developers with little interest in the village or community.

The campaign group is now hoping to get more than 100,000 people from all over the country to sign a petition which will force members of Parliament to discuss the issue of unnecessary top down development being imposed on rural communities.

The group has already made good strides receiving support from the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England, the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Destination Worcester, Visit England, traders, and other village action groups as well as tourists.

But campaign chair, Gordon Franks, said there was still plenty more to do.

"The Localism Act stated a bottom-up approach where the local community would have say in planning and development. Under current plans, Broadway could face 631 homes being imposed upon a unique village in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

"People come from all over the world to Broadway. It is a major tourist attraction. Proposed plans will change the character of the village and put an unnecessary strain on an already overstretched infrastructure."

As well as getting 100,000 signatures of support the Save Broadway Campaign Group also wants to develop a neighbourhood plan which spells out the exact needs of the village and community.

Eddie Vickers, the former Broadway Parish Council clerk, told the meeting current proposal could mean a 36 per cent increase in housing being forced upon a small village.

"We could face a potential increase in our population of up to 40 per cent by 2030 a figure well above the national average of 14 per cent," he added.

"A Neighbourhood Plan will spell out the precise requirements for Broadway in terms of all social, affordable housing. Current top down proposals mean an open day to any developer looking to turn a quick profit. They have little concern for local needs."

The Save Broadway Campaign Group is now looking to unite all local action groups to get their concerns before ministers.

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