Introduction and background
The parish of Warndon underwent a massive redevelopment between the late 1980s and the early 2000s. During that period of time, the population went from a small number of hundreds, to over 11,500.
The blueprint for that development was the Warndon Local Plan (1988).
The plan included both the largest housing development (4,200) and the largest area of Business Parks in the City of Worcester (85 ha).
The blueprint for the development also included the creation of a “Green Network”, linking a number of Nature Reserves in the area, as well as the creation of two Conservation Areas, containing highly valued heritage assets, and their settings.
The success of the plan was based on the balance which it struck between the residential and the business areas, as well as the natural and historic environments.
A key component of the “Warndon Project” – through which the Warndon Local Plan was brought to fruition – was the involvement of the Countryside Commission, whose primary focus was on retaining as much of the rural character of the area as possible – despite the scale of the development to be undertaken. As a result, the vast majority of ancient hedges and ponds were retained and incorporated into the Green Network.
The Warndon Project was hailed as a great success, and an exemplar of far-sightedness in Town Planning.
In recent times, the “Significant Gap” – part of the Green Network that forms a protection zone between the M5 Motorway and the residential areas of the parish – has come under a number of threats, which are of great concern to parish residents.
Given all of the above, Warndon Parish Council has decided to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan
The Localism Act 2012 introduced the right for parishes to decide the future of their community by producing a Neighbourhood Plan.
In 2017, Warndon Parish Council started the process of creating its own Neighbourhood Plan.
The purpose of the Neighbourhood Plan, is to cover key aspects of the future development of the parish. It will enable those who know and care about the parish of Warndon to plan for its future development.
It is not about stopping growth, but it is about making sure the right things are built in the right places.
It can help with the delivery of homes, jobs and services whilst at the same time protect and improve the best of the parish and its environment.
It will considerably strengthen the community’s ability to guide development in a way that reflects our priorities and needs – because a Neighbourhood Plan carries statutory weight.
Subject to approval by the electorate, it will play a role in helping to decide future planning decisions that affect the parish.
Once adopted, it will form a part of the Local Development Plan, to sit beneath the South Worcestershire Development Plan, and to provide the local level of detail.
Future developments within the parish of Warndon should maintain the balance between the residential, business, environmental and heritage areas of the parish, in keeping with the principles embodied in the Warndon Local Plan (1988) – the blueprint for the layout of the parish.
To protect the integrity of the Green Network within the parish, as safeguarded by the principles of the Warndon Local Plan (1988).
Local Green Space
To protect specific areas of Local Green Space, to reflect their value as part of the local environment, as well as the value placed upon them by residents and visitors to the area.
To safeguard the remaining rural character of the parish landscape – using the principles set out in the Warndon Local Plan (1988).
To protect the Trotshill and Warndon Court Conservation Areas, as envisaged when they were first designated in 1986.
To protect the Warndon Significant Gap from inappropriate development, as set out in the Warndon Local Plan (1988)