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By Rob George Thursday 20 December 2012 Updated: 20/12 12:09
A MAJOR housing blueprint for south Worcestershire has taken a huge leap forward after members of Wychavon District Council backed the masterplan on Tuesday (December 18).
The green light from councillors means the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) has now been approved by all three councils involved in shaping the future development of the area until 2030.
Councillors feared the SWDP was on the brink of collapse last month when Malvern Hills District Council voted down the proposals which have taken five years to draw up.
But they, together with Worcester City councillors, backed the plans at meetings last week meaning Wychavon members applied the finishing touches to the latest phase of the plan's development.
The SWDP will guide south Worcestershire’s economic and housing growth until 2030 and provides a masterplan for the development of 23,000 new homes by then.
The draft plan includes a range of changes to the earlier version of the document, thanks to a consultation over summer 2012 which attracted more than 3,500 responses from south Worcestershire residents and other interested parties.
Coun Paul Middlebrough, Wychavon District Council leader said: "We're very pleased that the SWDP can now stick to the original timetable. This will be critical in ensuring that we all have more control over where development goes."
Current chairman of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, Coun Marc Bayliss, said: "It’s been a bumpy road getting to this stage, but I’m delighted that all three councils have now approved the draft Plan and that we can now get on with the next steps of this important process.
Wychavon's Coun Judy Pearce is set to take the chairmanship of the panel, which includes councillors from each of the three councils working on the SWDP, at the next meeting
A further consultation will be held early next year to ensure it complies with legal requirements before the document is submitted to the Government in April 2013.
Subject to a public hearing and further report, the SWDP could be adopted by all three councils at the end of 2013.
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