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We are writing to register our strong objection to the proposals to build further housing in and around the Birch village.
We understand from the local plan that the proposals include plans to build 10-15 houses on the land behind the doctor's surgery. In particular, we are concerned that in our small village, further housing is simply not long term sustainable for various reasons:
1. The Birch village has completely inadequate medical provision, there is no pharmacy and worryingly the village has recently lost the doctors surgery itself, rendering it without local support. This has driven existing patients to need to register elsewhere. Without a local doctors surgery within walking distance, elderly Birch patients are finding thing very difficult.
2. Additional housing is likely to bring inevitable pressures on the school, which is already at capacity and to our personal knowledge has had an un-cleared waiting list for at least the previous four years. Expansion at the school would not be short term particularly challenging for new buildings given the limits on immediate space.
3. The village is seeing a gradual decline in services and provisions for the young and elderly alike. There is no local shop, no post office and now the future of the bus service is under threat.
In summary, adding to the above issues is not a viable proposition. For a village devoid of these basic provisions and without extensive infrastructure considerations in the local plan, it seems somewhat surprising that proposals to build further housing are considered. We would therefore urge the local Parish council to request the Borough Council to re-think these proposals and reject the local plan.