A CONTROVERSIAL plan to demolish a home to make for flats and bungalows was approved a month after it was set to be rejected.

Worcester City Council’s planning committee rejected a plan by Lockley Homes to demolish a large two-storey detached home known as ‘Mayfield’ in Malvern Road and replace it with six two-bed flats and three three-bedroom bungalows in December.

As the decision was against the recommendation of the council’s planning officers to approve it, the plan went before councillors again with the advice that it would be difficult for the council to fight an appeal as the reasons for refusal were not strong enough. Planning officers again recommended the plan should be approved.

Appalled by the approval, Councillor Alan Amos said the planning committee was acting in a “perverse” manner and the council would be setting a dangerous precedent in Malvern Road and the rest of the city if it approved the plan.

Cllr Amos said “ugly blocks of flats” would soon be put up in every bit of free space available. He said Lockley had put forward no changes to the plan after it had been discussed in December and it should be refused again.

Councillors were ‘minded to refuse’ the plan in December over concerns about the loss of green space, the new flats and bungalows being out of character with the rest of the area and overlooking neighbours' gardens, which meant the plan was looked over again before a final decision was made.

Cllr Jenny Barnes said she did not “strongly” object to the scheme and would have liked to have seen more homes for families, during a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Thursday (January 23).

Cllr Roger Berry said residents in Stanhope Court had a boundary of trees and would not be affected. He said the council would lose if the plan went to appeal and was actually “tasteful” and similar to the rest of the area.

Cllr Jo Hodges said the flats and bungalows were “pleasant” and she could see no reason why the plan should be refused.

Developer Lockley Homes hit out at the council for rejecting its plan in December and said it would be “disappointed” if it had to put the city’s taxpayers through the expense of an appeal.

Refusing the plan for a second time was rejected by six votes to five and the plan was then approved by six votes to three with two abstaining.