Campaigner dismay as plan for hundreds of homes next to ancient woodland returns

ANCIENT: Tiddesley Wood in Pershore
ANCIENT: Tiddesley Wood in Pershore

A PLAN to build hundreds of homes next to ancient woodland has returned to the dismay of campaigners.

The move to build 300 homes at Orchard Farm next to Tiddesley Wood in Pershore comes less than a year after a plan to build 450 homes on the land was fought off by campaigners.

More details of the massive housing plan will be revealed by developer Hollybrook Homes later this month and the Protect Tiddesley Wood campaign group is already planning to stage a protest outside the event.

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Hollybrook Homes will be staging a consultation event from 10am to 8pm at the Bank House in Pershore High Street on Wednesday, June 14 and an online feedback form for the developer’s Orchard Farm plans has been set up to go live on the same day.

A planning application has not yet been submitted by Hollybrook Homes with consultation events usually one of the first steps taken by developers before a formal plan is submitted to the council.

The Protect Tiddesley Wood campaign group is made up of the same people behind the Protecting Pershore’s Woodland group which was formed after the housing plans next to the woods were revealed in 2019.

Campaigners celebrated last year when the homes plan for the land next to Tiddesley Wood was cut from 450 to 112 in the most recent draft of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

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The much-delayed SWDP, which is still being reviewed and years behind schedule, will set out where thousands of new homes will be built across the south of the county in the next 20 years but is not expected to be adopted until at least the end of this year.

Orchard Farm had been included as a site for 450 homes in the first version of the SWDP when it was released in 2016 but after a long-fought battle with campaigners, councillors, West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Natural England getting involved to put a stop to the huge homes plan.

It was eventually agreed that 112 homes could be built on the land with a clear barrier between the new buildings and the ancient woodland.