GRAND Victorian houses in Malvern's town centre could get an extra layer of protection thanks to a new listing initiative.

Malvern Civic Society has welcomed news that the district council is pressing ahead with the creation of a list of the town's heritage assets.

Clive Hooper, the society's president, says the new system will link up with the government's proposal to identify Assets of Community Value and help to protect the town centre.

He said: "In Malvern, we have large numbers of Victorian mansions, which are not themselves listed, but which are an important part of the townscape.

"The new listing process won't in itself give any extra statutory protection but it will be a consideration, for example in the local planning process and should be an added safeguard against any undesirable development."

He said the Assets of Community Value initiative, part of the Localism Act , provides the opportunity for another listing of buildings, this time those which further the social interests of the local community.

He said: "We're thinking of properties such as the old community hospital or the Grange, next to the Theatre. Once properties are named Assets of Community Value, the community will have the option of bidding for them of they are put up for sale, and the seller will have to allow them six months to raise the funds."

He said the civic society is looking forward to working closely with MHDC ,and will make available information it has gathered in the last year as part of the Worcestershire Historic Environment Record.

He said: "Volunteers on the project, which was initiated by Louisa Davidson and is being led by her, have been photographing buildings that appear on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map of 1885 and still stand today - about 2,000 in Malvern."