DATES for a Government inspector to plough through a controversial Worcestershire housing blueprint have now been confirmed.

The long-awaited fresh public hearing over the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) will run on Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14 at County Hall.

It will get underway at 10am on both days and the public are invited to attend and observe.

As your Worcester News revealed two weeks ago, the number of homes in the plan has increased from 23,200 to a maximum of 27,300.

Inspector Roger Clews had rejected the old figure last October, and called for it to increase.

The plan earmarks land for homes and employment up to 2030 and need to pass the hearing before it can be ratified.

Your Worcester News can also reveal that on the first day he will look at the number of homes in the plan, and on day two examine the land earmarked for new retail.

Councillor Judy Pearce, who chairs the South Worcestershire Joint Advisory Panel that leads work on the SWDP, said: "Everyone involved in the SWDP is keen to make progress on this vital plan as soon as possible, so I am pleased that the Inspector has confirmed details of these hearings so quickly."

If he accepts it, councils in Worcester, Malvern and Wychavon will have to look at where the 4,100 extra homes should go.