Hereford & Worcester

Malvern Council's U-turn over plan for 23,000 houses

A plan to build 23,000 new homes in Worcestershire has been revived after a council reversed its decision not to support it.

Malvern Hills District Council rejected the South Worcestershire Development Plan in November.

But councillors changed their decision at a public meeting on Monday.

Worcester city council said last month it would take legal action against the district council if it did not reverse its decision.

Paul Swinburn, from Malvern Hills district council, said they "hadn't been bullied into changing their minds" after the city council said it would pursue a judicial review.

He said: "The threat of legal action was a precautionary warning from Worcester city council, and whether it would've come to anything or not we don't know.

"We never withdrew from the development plan and what's happened in the last month is councillors have seen the final version, and more information has come to light."

'Built on community'

But Heather Jeavons, from Malvern, who is campaigning against the plan, said "too many homes would be built in one place."

"A better solution would be to take the same number of houses and to disperse them, rather than create a self contained built on community which is what this will be," she said.

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) is a joint proposal by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council.

Worcester City Council voted unanimously to back it this week.

Councillors in Wychavon will vote on the plan next week to ensure the SWDP is formally adopted.

More than 10,000 new homes have already been built or been given planning permission, as part of the proposals.

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