A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build 120 new homes in a village near Worcester has taken another step forward.

Lioncourt Homes had its plan to build up to 120 homes in Rushwick near Worcester backed by the government’s planning inspector following an inquiry last year – despite hundreds of objections from villagers.

The developer has now put forward a ‘reserved matters’ application to Malvern Hills District Council which deals with the style and layout of the new homes.

The mix of one-to-four-bed homes will be built on fields to the eastern edge of the village between Claphill Lane, Bransford Road and the A4440.

As many as 48 affordable homes would be built as part of the development and just over half of the land will remain as green space.

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A government inspector ruled in favour of Lioncourt Homes last year after Malvern Hills District Council missed its legal deadline for making a decision.

More than 250 objections were made against the application with many saying the village did not have the infrastructure to cope.

The council was also forced to pay legal costs – although the figure is not yet known – after it was deemed to have acted “unreasonably” in a separate ruling by government inspector Andrew Dawe.

The inspector said the harm the development would cause in the village would be “limited” and the council could not show it had a five-year land supply – which requires councils to have enough sites ready for development to meet their housing need for the next five years – and backed the plan.

The application was put forward in 2017 with discussions between Lioncourt and MHDC meaning the deadline for a decision was pushed back.

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But when a decision was still not made months later, the developer appealed to the government inspector over non-determination due to the long time it had taken for a decision to be reached.

Once the appeal was lodged with the government’s planning inspector, the power to decide on the application was taken out of the council’s hands.

You can have your say on the reserved matters application by visiting the planning section of Malvern Hills District Council’s website.

The application number is M/22/00776/RM and consultation ends on July 7.