VOTERS have overwhelmingly backed two new housing blueprints for Worcestershire after a set of historic referendums.

Nearly 600 voters in Claines went to the polls last Thursday to vote on a new parish plan with 85 per cent giving it their endorsement.

The result means North Claines Parish Council's 78-page dossier on how it wants the area to develop by 2031, known as its 'Neighbourhood Plan', has been accepted.

It was one of two localised planning blueprints to get the nod last week, with householders in Drakes Broughton, Wadborough and Pirton - three parts of Wychavon - also approving one.

In that ballot 93 per cent of voters backed the dossier, with 374 people giving it their support and 26 rejecting it.

Wychavon District Council's planning committee will now be asked to accept the adoption of both plans at its next meeting on Thursday, April 6.

If accepted, the authority's Conservative leadership will ask all councillors to vote in favour of the documents at the next full council meeting on Wednesday, April 26.

There are several other similar plans which are expected to go through referendums in rural parts of the county over the next year.

Tory Councillor Bradley Thomas, Wychavon's portfolio holder for planning, transport and infrastructure, said:: "Congratulations to the people - they have voted for greater influence and a greater degree of control over how their communities develop in future.

"There are a number of other communities across Wychavon currently undergoing the Neighbourhood Plan process, and we look forward to putting them to a public vote at the earliest possible opportunity."

The old Coalition Government introduced Neighbourhood Plans in 2011, allowing small parish councils to create blueprints detailing where they want new homes, shops and office to be built.

It also gives them more of a say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.

The dossiers are meant to guide developers on where their planning applications are likely to approved, guarding against speculative land-grabs.

The blueprints match up with the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), a document spelling out where up to 28,370 homes can go in Worcester, Wychavon and Malvern by 2030.