A DEVELOPER has called a council U-turn over a plan to build flats and bungalows a "victory for common sense" after it looked set to be rejected forcing a costly appeal.

Lockley Homes has welcomed Worcester City Council’s decision to overturn the December decision of its planning committee to refuse a plan to knock down a home, known as 'Mayfield' in Malvern Road, and replace it with six two-bed flats and three three-bedroom bungalows.

Joint managing director Karl Lockley said the U-turn was "a victory for common sense."

Mr Lockley thanked the local residents who had supported the scheme and said work would start as soon as details were finalised.

“The proof of the pudding, as they say, and I think local residents will ultimately welcome what we believe is a tasteful scheme and in keeping with the neighbourhood," he said.

Mr Lockley had said earlier this month that he would be "disappointed" to have to put the city's taxpayers through a potentially costly appeal if the plan was rejected.

As the decision was against the recommendation of the council’s planning officers to approve it, the plan went before councillors again last Thursday (January 24) with the advice that it would be difficult for the council to fight an appeal as the reasons for refusal were not strong enough.

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.

The "perverse" decision to overturn the previous refusal was criticised by Councillor Alan Amos who said it would set a dangerous precedent in Malvern Road and the rest of the city.