A PLAN to demolish a large home to make way for flats and bungalows was rejected after it was criticised for setting a “dangerous precedent” for housebuilding on some of the city’s biggest gardens.

The large two-storey detached home known as ‘Mayfield’ in Malvern Road would have been knocked down and replaced with six two-bed flats and three three-bedroom bungalows.

Cllr Alan Amos said approving the homes would have set a “dangerous precedent” for the rest of Malvern Road and the city.

He said paving over green space was not acceptable – especially for a “featureless” block of apartments and ‘backland’ garden developments should be refused because they are against national and local planning policy.

Cllr Amos said the planning application was different from the one originally submitted – as it included an extra home – and neighbours had not been properly consulted on the change.

He said the concerns of existing neighbours “counted for nothing” and they did not turn up to speak at Thursday’s planning meeting as “they had given up” and had resigned themselves to defeat.

Cllr Amos said: “I have some very grave concerns because clearly these applications are not the same at all. One had eight and this one now has nine. They are significantly different.”

Cllr Mike Johnson said it could mean any home with a large back garden could soon be open to development for several homes.

The plan was refused by Worcester City Council’s planning committee at a meeting on Thursday (December 19).

The first plan submitted in June proposed building a mix of eight detached and terraced homes after it was revised from the initial plan to build a three-storey apartment block at the rear of the site.

Several objections were raised by neighbours, some of whom had welcomed the original application, after the design and type of homes was changed after submission.

Pre-consultation advice from planning officers said the council would likely “resist” backland developments because of its impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

The plan by Lockley Homes would see the new homes sit next to the three-storey care home Stanhope Court.

Objector Patricia Connaughton, who lives at Stanhope Court, said the new houses would destroy the peaceful environment she had – and the new homes would mean she was “invaded front and back.”

She said: “Stanhope Court was created to provide secure accommodation in a peaceful environment for elderly residents. This is a warden-controlled property.

“Months of building works followed by a mini housing estate with the noise from cars mowers and dogs ruin our quiet lives. We will be invaded front and back.”

The existing entrance to Mayfield would be widened and extended to reach the rest of the homes.

Cllr Roger Berry, who voted in favour of the plan, said larger houses with big gardens were no longer viable and he would prefer to see housebuilding take place in the city rather than concreting over green space around the edge of Worcester.

The plan was refused by six votes to three.