VILLAGERS are angered by the site chosen for a large new property development calling it a "threat" to their rural communities.

Well over one hundred residents packed Bishampton village hall on Sunday afternoon to protest against plans to build a new town in and around Throckmorton airfield.

Villagers have now drawn up battle lines to fight the proposals which form part of the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

Councillor Liz Tucker said: “There’s never been such a threat to our ancient villages since William the Conqueror.”

Chairman of Bishampton Parish Council, Derrick Barker said: “We are pleased that Pinvin and Hill and Moor Parish Councils are joining us in funding environmental and planning experts to back up our objections.”

In a letter to Wychavon District Council, Nigel Smith said: "Throckmorton airfield is not a plot ‘miles from anywhere’, but in close proximity to several village settlements and local town Pershore. This would be effectively engulfing those settlements, adversely and fundamentally affecting those communities in a number of ways. In turn, you would be changing the very character of Wychavon."

Fred Davies, Policy Manager for Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils, said: “The plans to build 2,000 houses, along with employment, schools and other services, on Throckmorton Airfield are set out in the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review Preferred Options document. There is a Government requirement to build another 14,000 new homes across the Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon by 2041. This is on top of the need for 28,400 new homes by 2030, more than half of which have already been built, set out in the current plan.

“The plans were approved by the three councils in October and a six-week public consultation is ongoing until 16 December. The comments put forward by residents and other interested parties will be taken into account and a revised draft plan will be considered by the three councils in September 2020."

Concerns have also been raised as part of the airfield was used as a site to bury carcasses after the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001.

Mr Smith said: "I am surprised that the airfield is being considered for human habitation at all given the mass burial of diseased animals which took place there some years ago. Opinion at the time was that this, and probable contamination from the airfield’s former life, rendered the area unsuitable for future development. Who would want to live there? I at first hand witnessed the scale and proximity of the burial exercise, and I wouldn’t."

"It would be safer to plant trees there and help our environment and climate."

In relation to this Mr Davies said: “With regards to the Throckmorton airfield site, there is an area where animal carcasses were buried, however, this is off limits and houses will not be built there. A lot of technical work needs to be undertaken and a new settlement on the airfield will not function well until a new direct access to the A44 and Pershore Railway Station beyond has been secured, which is why it is not expected to start before 2030.”