MORE than 20 homes could still controversially be built in Malvern after an appeal was launched to overturn a council rejection.

Malvern Hills District Council rejected a plan by social housing provider Platform to build 23 homes on land off Pickersleigh Grove in Malvern last year and rejected a similar plan for 21 homes when it was submitted again a few months later.

Platform has now appealed to the government's planning inspectorate to reverse the decisions and allow the homes to be built.

A planning report, which set out the council's rejection in February last year, said allowing the extra homes would affect the town's "green heart."

The report said: "The development of the site would adversely affect the spaciousness of the town’s 'green heart', reduce accessibility to open space of an informal rural nature and harm green infrastructure connectivity."

Several objections to building the homes were raised during public consultation last year.

Platform had said that whilst green land should be protected where possible, it was outweighed by the need for more affordable housing in Malvern and was in a good location next to already-approved homes.

One neighbour in Meadow Road said: "The land the proposal refers to has not changed in its classification of green space and therefore I cannot comprehend why it should be approved.

"During the current lockdown, spaces like these are even more important."

Pickersleigh Residents’ Group said the council should not be setting a precedent for homes to be built on green space.

The neighbouring plan, also by Platform, to demolish the existing buildings and build 92 homes was approved by council planners in 2014.

The old homes, which were built in the 1950s, were demolished in 2016 but work did not start until August 2018.

Work was completed at the end of last year.