PLANS to build a leisure complex at a county hotel are moving ahead after councillors voted not to object to them.

Powick Parish Council held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the plans, which could see a major new gym, spa and leisure complex built at Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in Callow End.

Because of the length and nature of the discussions, a special meeting was arranged outside of the usual planning committee to allow for proper assessment of the plans.

Councillors heard representations from resident Joanna Brickell, who lives adjacent to the site.

She was not against the plans for the building, but was concerned over the impact it could have on the wildlife, particularly birds and bats nearby.

Speaking on Mrs Brickell's behalf, planning barrister William Webster argued the development, proposed by Handpicked Hotels, who run Stanbrook Abbey, was substantial and would require more time to properly go through the documents.

He said: "In my view, this meeting comes far too early in the planning process.

"In my view, it would be appropriate for the council to defer its response for at least another two months."

Representing Handpicked Hotels, planning agent Mark Batley said the hotel chain, which runs a number of historic properties across the country, had been working with local planners for over a year to make sure the building was appropriate.

He said: "I fully understand Mrs Brickell's concerns and give her assurances there will be no noise.

"With having a modern building, the upper floors are all treatment rooms, which are quiet places."

Councillors voted not to object to the application, which will now go before the Malvern Hills District Council planning committee.

The application can be viewed in full on