Archers village 'could become sprawling town'

Reports that a village which was the inspiration for the fictional home of BBC radio series The Archers could officially become a 'sprawling town' following a 100-home planning approval feature in today's newspaper round-up.

Inkberrow in Worcestershire, "which is visited by thousands of fans of the BBC Radio 4 series every year, is in danger of becoming a ‘sprawling town’ after developers were given the green light to build more than 100 homes", the Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that developer Bovis Homes "has been granted planning permission to build 100 homes on a greenfield site at 28 Stonepit Lane next year, while Wychavon District Council has also given permission for up to 40 more houses on a separate site in the village".

The firm responsible for delivering the High Speed Two (HS2) rail line "is making millions by letting houses and flats along the proposed route", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that the "government-owned company has bought more than 400 properties along the route from north London to Birmingham since 2011, under a scheme that allows homeowners to move to escape noise from the line. In March this year, it was letting 363 of these properties, up from 36 five years ago."

Heritage campaigners "have called on Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, to prevent the construction of a new £775 million block of offices by one of the country’s busiest railway stations", the Times (subscription required) reports. In a letter to the newspaper, Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, argues that "the secretary of state must hold a public inquiry" after the scheme was approved earlier this month.

A new study has revealed that "rampant road building has shattered the Earth’s land into 600,000 fragments, most of which are too tiny to support significant wildlife", the Guardian reports. The paper says that researchers have warned that "roadless areas are disappearing and that urgent action is needed to protect these last wildernesses, which help provide vital natural services to humanity such as clean water and air."

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