A DEVELOPER is pressing ahead with contentious plans to build 45 new homes in Powick.

Bovis Homes has submitted an application to build the houses next to the Crown pub, despite opposition from residents and the fact the site has been deleted from the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – a blueprint saying where development should take place. The 2.7 hectare site was included in early versions of the SWDP.

However, it was strongly opposed locally, with resident group Protest Powick Greenfield calling its inclusion outrageous, and removed before the final SWDP draft was approved in December.

But the SWDP still has to receive government approval before it can be adopted and Bovis says it should only be given “limited weight”.

In its application it also says existing local plans are out of date and Malvern Hills does not have a five-year land supply, so guidelines called the National Planning Policy Framework, introduced last year, should be used to determine what is appropriate.

Planning agent Green Planning Solutions says in these circumstances, permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts can be shown to “significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.

District and county councillor Tom Wells organised a residents’ meeting at Powick Parish Hall on Sunday.

He said he wanted to be sure people understood the planning process and what they could do to be part of it.

He said: “The idea of 45 houses bolted on that site is quite clearly one that concerns a large number of people. I will be doing my best to represent the views and interests of residents.”

Powick Parish Council’s planning committee will be meeting to debate the plans on Wednesday, February 6.

Planning chairman Coun Colin Phillips said they were expecting a lot of residents and had set aside extra time for public participation.

“There is obviously a lot of opposition to that particular development,” he said.

Both Couns Phillips and Wells believe Worcestershire could see a trend of developers seeking permission for sites not in the SWDP before the document is formally adopted.