NEARLY 300 houses and flats planned for development in Worcester since 2008 never got built, it has emerged.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the economic downturn has dented new property building across the city.

Over the last six years 276 separate houses or flats failed to get built despite securing planning permission - an average of 46 every year.

It comes despite a huge shortage of homes across the city, with 2,393 people stuck on a council waiting list.

More than 2,000 properties were built in Worcester during the same period.

A new report on development across Worcester reveals the full extent of how much construction is taking place in the city.

It reveals how planners are still pinning their hopes on several major developments making progress this year to help ease the pressure.

They include the £28 million, 158-home development by Persimmon Homes at the old Kays catalogue site off Bransford Road.

Careys New Homes is also preparing to build up to 98 properties on St George's Lane, the former home of Worcester City FC.

A third major project now underway in the city is Worcester Community Housing's £8.5 million, 51-home scheme off Gresham Road, Dines Green.

At the moment 20 of those properties are under construction, with a planned finishing target of spring 2015.

There are another 49 homes currently under development in Worcester across 21 different locations.

Planning experts at the city council say the city is in a promising position because it has enough land to accommodate new development - and is attractive to developers.

Based on Government-led house building targets the city has a continuous eight-year supply of land.

That means it is well-protected from rogue developers looking to build on sites not earmarked for construction.

To combat any risk of unwanted buildings the council has drawn up proposals for major extensions in south and west Worcester, effectively making the city boundaries bigger.

It comes at a time when the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), a blueprint mapping sites for construction by 2030, could increase by 4,100 homes to 27,300.

Councillor David Tibbutt said: "Once we reach the point where we have no more land to build on, what happens then?"

Councillor David Wilkinson, chairman of the city's planning committee, said: "Although we have an eight-year land supply at the moment we won't have that forever - that's why we have these urban extensions in place."