‘MORE holes than a block of Swiss cheese’ – that is a Bromsgrove councillor’s damning assessment of plans to build more than 500 homes in Rock Hill.

The Advertiser reported last week that the proposals – put forward by developers Catesby Estates – had been deferred by Bromsgrove District Council’s planning committee.

Highway issues were among the reasons the application was deferred after a three-and-a-half hour debate in a packed council chamber, with the committee seeking clarification on several points.

Plans to develop land off Whitford Road and Albert Road – including the derelict Greyhound pub – have met stiff opposition in the past with two previous applications refused.

County and District Councillor Luke Mallett said the planning committee had made the ‘right decision’ to defer the application, adding they required ‘a lot more information, evidence and modelling from the developers’.

Cllr Mallett added: “Local residents overwhelmingly know that our roads are gridlocked and our schools, GPs and hospitals are at capacity.

“For Worcestershire Highways and the developers to ask for agreement to a series of concepts to 'improve our roads' without evidence as to road safety, impact or that they will even work, is an insult to long suffering Bromsgrove residents.

“This application has more holes in it than a block of Swiss cheese.

“The last time this application was refused all the way to the High Court we were told by the developers and Highways that a roundabout could not work - now they want one!

“The bottom line is that we need a Western Relief Road and the sooner the County Council properly assess this and we get it into the local plan, the sooner we can demand developers put their hands in their pockets for something that will actually make a difference to our traffic problems rather than fiddling round the edges."

Local residents’ group Whitford Vale Voice have launched an online petition demanding the creation of such a relief road.

WVV transport spokesman John Gerner added: "We submitted to the Council a series of detailed and carefully considered technical notes outlining our concerns about the impacts of this development on highway safety and congestion at multiple locations across Bromsgrove.

“Many of the issues we have raised are still unanswered.

“We brought them to the attention of the planning committee and are delighted that they agreed that the impact of development on our already congested roads has not been fully assessed.”