THE PLANS to transform Adelaide House in West Malvern into a rehabilitation centre for ex-soldiers has been the most controversial issue this paper has covered.
Residents were generally supportive of the idea but had many concerns and while the vast majority were well founded there were some which were knee-jerk.
But all were born out of a lack of information and clarity from representatives from Rooftop Housing and Heritage Care behind the project.
Thankfully, the latest meeting on Monday was a step in the right direction and residents are now starting to get some of the reassurances they need and deserve.
I WAS appalled to see the article about the baby elephant at West Midlands Safari Park (July 2, page 18).
Animals in UK zoos and safari parks are kept in enclosures on average 100 times smaller than their minimum home range in the wild.
Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to animals in the wild.
Protection of their natural habitat is the only real way of saving species and also benefits all the other fauna and flora that form their ecosystem. Instead of millions paying to gawp at animals in zoos and safari parks they would do better to send the money as a donation to the Born Free Foundation, an organisation that campaigns and helps to protect creatures and their habitats in the wild.
THE DEVELOPMENT plan for the Lower Howsell Road allotment site is again in the news.
In a recent issue, Councillor Paul Tuthill was pictured with an inset of the proposed housing and his views on the possible layout of the site. Does this not, before a planning application has been made, point to predetermination?
One main problem for the development of the site over the last 25 years has been that access from Lower Howsell Road has been deemed to be unsafe and a traffic hazard.
What has changed? Over the course of this time, the amount of traffic has increased, the heavy traffic has increased and the speed of the traffic has increased. So, on these grounds alone, how can this proposal be justifiable?
T and C Waring, C and L Burger
Lower Howsell Road
FOR THE past two years High Street Malvern have been working with the district council and Malvern Theatres to explore the possibility of using The Grange as an administrative annexe to the theatre to free up space in the main building for other uses such as an art gallery.
1. We support the decision of the district council to sell the building; they will get the necessary return on an asset and the building will be properly maintained.
2. We support the keenness of the civic society to ensure that this important listed building is preserved for posterity.
3. We support the principle of designating important buildings as community assets and think that the old hospital in Lansdowne Crescent should be given serious consideration.
The most important community asset in Malvern is the theatre complex and both councils, voluntary and other groups and residents should work hard to ensure its future at a time when rents are going up, grants are being cut and production costs are increasing.
The location of The Grange makes it a perfect match for the theatre and we hope that the theatre is offered first refusal by Leviathan for its unallocated space.
High Street Malvern
BEING independent of the restraints of any party whip allows me to align myself exclusively to the views and fears of local residents; I am constantly dismayed by the ‘we know best’ attitude by the district council leadership toward the anxieties of residents and their representatives, local councillors.
Malvern Wells residents in particular have endured many months of distress and misery in terms of housing development planning (Determined by Tory led MHDC) and genuine fear that they would lose their buses (The responsibility of Tory controlled Worcestershire County Council).
With regards housing, on the one hand it is suggested that building won’t be permitted in an area of AONB, on the other we are told by our Tory dominated central Government that planning applications must be considered in such areas or ‘special measures’ will be imposed.
On Thursday, August 7 residents of Malvern Wells pass their verdict upon good governance, or otherwise, of Malvern Hills District Council Tory leadership; will 70 per cent of residents not vote, or will the swell of anger call for change in the ballot result, the former I fear.
PAT CASH’s comment of last week was interesting: ‘it appeared to me that the planning department were arguing the case of the developers against the wishes of the council’. This will ring bells with lots of readers I suspect.
Alarm bells rang for me when MHDC planning department worked on development plans for Sling Lane playing fields and then proceeded to argue for it, against a large opposition, at a Development Control committee meeting.
At that meeting, Worcestershire Highways’ representative (looking very uncomfortable) recommended the four metre wide Sling Lane railway tunnel be shared by cars and pedestrians, fully-well knowing the danger to pedestrians in allowing this. Why did he do this? Could it have something to do with council officers lobbying planning department and highways representatives? I think so.
Malvern Hills District Council seems to be desperately inward-looking. To all appearances, the behind-closed-doors decision-making in our district council is deeply embedded and it is a culture which should be dealt with.
Sarah Rouse last week wrote: ‘roll on the election’. Roll on indeed, then, if we have the will, we can elect strong, independent-minded and public spirited councillors who can challenge this dreadful culture which seems to be milling around behind the locked doors of the council house.
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