CONCERNS have been raised about an “opportunistic” bid to build homes on an area of historic parkland on the outskirts of Upton-upon-Severn.

Cala Homes wants to build 22 new houses on green land at Tunnel Hill, adjacent to Karuna House.

But news of the bid has alarmed nearby resident Sylvia Partridge, who is concerned that – if successful – an important part of Upton’s heritage will be lost.

Mrs Partridge feels developing the field would be “totally inappropriate” and said the 24-acre site contains an ancient ridge and furrow field, dewpond and 12 oak trees that are more than 600 years old and mark the original field boundary. These oaks are all the subject of temporary tree preservation orders.

Mrs Partridge, who attended a meeting of Upton Town Council’s planning committee to voice her concerns, said: “The site is exquisite and unaltered from how it was 600 years ago. It is hugely important and part of our heritage and deserves protection for future generations.”

She also feels that a public consultation on Thursday, November 29, was not widely publicised.

Cala is now finalising details over the layout, design and mix of housing before submitting a full planning application.

It says the proposed scheme “respects the rural setting” with low density, open space and the retention of many existing features.

A Cala spokesman said: “We are aware that ridge and furrow forms part of the site. As such, our archaeologists have spoken to their counterparts at Worcestershire County Council and will be assessing the significance of the ridge and furrow.

“The proposed development will retain the oak trees. We’ll also be undertaking work to ensure that the root protection areas are respected and maintained.

“Our application is going to be made under the Rural Exception Policy and this does not depend on the local planning process."