AN ambitious ‘masterplan’ which sets out a grand vision for Worcester is one step away from being set in stone - but only after fears the city’s riverside could be handed over to developers for flats were eased.

The Worcester City Centre Masterplan, revealed by Worcester City Council last October, was backed by the council’s policy and resources committee but only after some clarifications were made to prevent the potential for the city’s riverside to be bombarded with apartments.

The draft masterplan sets out the potential for development and includes Copenhagen Street, Croft Road, Hylton Road, North Quay and Newport Street as sites for future apartments and residential developments.

Marc Bayliss, leader of the city council, said: “There’s a consensus, I hope, that we wouldn’t want to see residential-led developments along all of those sites along the riverside.

“A new hotel would be a good addition to the city centre or maybe a new theatre along the riverside with accompanying residential development but not the idea of simply sticking hundreds of flats on our car parks along the river front.

“There are some nuances in the plan that need to be clarified and agreed before we approve the plan.”

MASTERPLAN: Huge 'masterplan' with the aim of transforming Worcester revealed

ARCHES: £3 million grant to turn Worcester's railway arches into business and arts hub

Cllr Chris Mitchell, who is also chairman of the council’s planning committee, said the plan would need the full backing of the council and would mean councillors could sometimes have to stand up to residents and say this is the direction the city is going in.

He said if a plan for a hotel or a different major development on the riverside did come forward then councillors could not suddenly withdraw support because it was in their ward.

To be adopted, the city centre masterplan requires the support of the full council.