FRAIL pensioners in bungalows are living in fear of an unwanted development of 55 houses on their doorsteps.

Developer Taylor Wimpey is pressing ahead with plans to build the homes on land off Eastward Road, Malvern, despite opposition from residents and the fact the land was rejected by local planners for inclusion in the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

A residents’ group called the Eastward Road Action Group is fighting the plans.

It has concerns over increasing existing traffic problems, fears local infrastructure will be unable to cope and says it would set an unwanted precedent for developing on countryside in the “significant gap” between Malvern and Leigh Sinton.

But chairman Richard Bamford, who lives in Eastward Road, said it was “the human element” that was the biggest cause for concern.

“Eastward Road is essentially a retirement area with the majority of residents of pensionable age, many in ill health, and if this development went ahead it would seriously affect even their already reduced quality of life,” he said. “All of the site traffic will have to go up and down the road and the elderly residents will basically become part of the building site. Some of the people here are scared to death of what is going to happen to them. There is a real human element not mentioned anywhere in the planning documents.”

Taylor Wimpey has submitted a planning application for the 55 homes, which will be decided by Malvern Hills District Council.

A spokesman said: “We consider the application offers the opportunity to help meet the recognised need for housing in Malvern, which is currently not being met by the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

“The scale of the proposals means existing services will be sufficient to accommodate the development and there will be a minimal impact upon traffic in the area.”

Mr Bamford believes the developer is trying to push its plans through before the SWDP – which still needs government approval – is formally adopted.

He believes councillors must stay true to what they have voted on in the SWDP and not fear having their decisions overturned on appeal until it is adopted.

“I think they have to stand firm behind their own plan,” he said. “They have always protected the significant gap and we hope that they will do the same this time.”