CONTROVERSIAL plans to use an historic green space in the city for new homes seem to have been thwarted for a second time after it was left out of the council's key housing blueprint.

Middle Battenhall Farm – a site already marred by controversy after plans for 200 homes were rejected in 2016 following a two-year battle between the developer, the city council’s planning committee and campaigners – was not included in the latest updated of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) which sets out where homes would be built in the next 20 years.

The green space - which was once dubbed one of the city's "green lungs" - was left out of the current SWDP but plans for development were reignited in 2018 when the owner of Middle Battenhall Farm answered a call for potential developments spots as part of a review.

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Cllr Louise Griffiths, who represents Battenhall ward, said it was "brilliant" that Middle Battenhall Farm had not been included in the proposals for the latest SWDP and its exclusion was testament to the hard work of residents.

She said: "I'm really happy that it has not been included. I think it is a real testament to residents in Battenhall and particularly the Middle Battenhall Action Group who were very active and persistent.

"There is always the concern that this is only a recommendation so the fight isn't over just yet. It is however pretty clear that the residents don't want any development on the site.

"It is an historic area, it really is a lovely bit of green space and it is one of the first things you see coming into the city from the motorway. It would be a shame to just build a lot of houses on there."

Cllr Louis Stephen, who also represents Battenhall, said: "I am very pleased that neither Middle Battenhall Farm or the land off Evendine Close are in the proposed new plan.

"But the final plan will not be approved until early 2021 and we need to be vigilant that the developers do not try to sneak in these inappropriate housing schemes via the back door.

"The fight continues."