West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has called for villages to speed up their efforts to agree local development plans for their communities.
Democratically-approved Neighbourhood Plans are crucial when planners consider where to approve housing development and Harriett has praised a number of communities which have developed and approved their own blueprint for growth.
Across the Malvern Hills district, eight communities have approved their own plan but Harriett urged other villages to speed up their efforts to consult with local people and get a plan in place.
The MP met with residents in Leigh Sinton last week to talk about their plan and the importance of carrying out a comprehensive consultation process.
“Villages like Leigh Sinton are especially vulnerable to planning applications at the moment because the district council’s local plan is out of date and the council isn’t able to show that there are enough housing developments in the pipeline.
“I recently met with the Housing Minister to discuss my concerns and he confirmed that it is important that communities have created their own Neighbourhood Plan, that can be considered by planning inspectors of the formal local plan is not complete.
“Because Malvern Hills District Council has not been consistent at maintaining a five year land supply to show to inspectors, there is a heightened risk of speculative planning applications to build houses where communities don’t want them.
“I am writing to Malvern Hills District Council to assess what’s happening with the Leigh and Bransford Neighbourhood Plan and encourage other local communities to take appropriate steps to get their own plan underway.”