A PLAN to build up to 50 affordable homes on part of a former city golf course was rejected by councillors.

The homes would have been built on the former Tolladine golf course in Worcester by housing association Bromford with three homes in nearby Darwin Avenue demolished to make way.

Worcester City Council's planning committee rejected the application at a meeting on Thursday (February 25).

As council planning officers had recommended the application was approved, councillors could only vote on 'minding to refuse' the plan which means it will return to a future council meeting for a final decision.

A campaign was set up to stop the homes being built with residents saying if the plan went ahead it would mean swapping priceless natural fields for pollution and congestion.

A petition against the plans attracted more than 800 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.

Jan Scrine, speaking on behalf of local residents at the planning meeting, said the green space had been a lifeline for many during the pandemic and it was important that it was protected.

Cllr Chris Cawthorne, who admitted the application was "not ideal" but voted in favour of the plan, said she would choose people over trees.

"We desperately need more affordable housing," she said.

"I'm sorry but if you ask me to choose between a person and a tree, I have to choose a woman with kids who has nowhere to live."

Bromford proposed a mix of one-to-four-bedroom homes, of which 35 would be for rent and 15 made available to buy through shared ownership.

Some councillors hit out at developer Bromford for saying there was an "oversupply" of green space in Warndon as justification for building homes there.

Planning vice chair Pat Agar said it was an "absurd" suggestion.

Warndon councillor Andy Roberts said it was "ludicrous" to draw lines through green space and did not want to see green space in Worcester "rationed."

Cllr Alan Amos, pointing to number of strong objections from neighbours, said it would be a "tragedy" if the plan was approved.

He said the opposition of residents should be taken more seriously as it would be for those who were most affected.