PLANS to build 50 homes on city fields are facing strong opposition from locals who say it will destroy one of the very few green spaces they have left to visit.

Up to 50 homes could be built on the former Tolladine golf course in Worcester but residents say if the plan goes ahead it will mean swapping priceless natural fields for pollution and congestion.

A petition against the plans has so far attracted more than 500 signatures.

Campaigners say the fields are next to a local nature reserve and used regularly by families and young people, dog walkers and nature photographers who already have very few places left to go.

“Building work and an increase in residents in this area will have a significant impact on traffic on Newtown Road which is already congested and a major point of access for residents,” the petition said.

“Equally the residential increase will add additional pressure on local schools, infrastructure and Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“We seek to have planning permission for the field universally rejected and preserve it for the enjoyment of existing residents as well as supporting our locally established wildlife and trees.

“The fields are some of the very few areas still remaining that are accessible and free to the public and for most of us, just a short walk away.

“If we fail to stop further building work, we stand to lose our priceless natural fields whilst getting in exchange even more traffic congestion, pollution and anti-social behaviour.”

Housing association Bromford, which owns three homes that would be demolished to make way for the new homes, said it hopes to start work early next year if the plans are approved.

Bromford replied to local concerns in its application saying the homes were in line with the council’s policies on trees and green space, wildlife and traffic and parking.

The application also said the homes should be allowed because there is an “over-supply” of green space in the Warndon Parish South ward and a desperate need for affordable housing in the city.

The homes would be a mix of one-to-four-bedroom homes, of which 35 would be for rent and 15 made available to buy through shared ownership. A total of 99 off-street parking spaces would also be provided.

Plans to build on the former golf course have proved controversial in recent years with several applications facing strong opposition from residents.

Platform Housing Group has recently brought back plans to build 16 homes to the north of the golf course a decade after they were first put forward.

One objector to the plan in Darwin Avenue said the roads were not suitable for construction traffic and it would be dangerous.

"Darwin Avenue is totally unsuitable for constriction traffic" the objection said.

"It will be dangerous for residents and damaging to cars, pavements and potentially houses.

"There is a nursing home that requires regular emergency vehicles and we have to park on the kerb to give space to them and other essential vehicles. There have been numerous examples of damage. We would need (at the very least) a league agreement to pay for all damages, inevitable cleaning costs and compensation for a reduction in house values.

"The whole plan lacks any plan for safe and reasonable matters of access both during construction and after. It will be dangerous. It doesn't address any concerns raised in the consultation already carried out.

"I have severe concerns that this shows we are simply being ignored when our house will be deeply impacted by noise, pollution and potential damage to the property. This is unacceptable.

"The plans themselves look okay in that they comply to regulation. It is really disappointing that the council has allowed planning for houses on this land which is a much loved and used area for many local people."

City and county councillor Andy Roberts said he had been meeting with the involved parties over the plans.

“We met so we could explore what the proposal and what we could meaningfully object to," he said. "It’s no good saying we don’t want homes, we want homes, we just want them to be appropriate and in the right space and in accordance with the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP)."

Cllr Roberts said there was a "satisfactory" housing supply and was concerned the area would be giving up "treasured green spaces" for homes.