AN historic farmhouse in a “dangerous state of disrepair” will be turned into new flats after plans were backed by councillors.

Willow Court Farmhouse in the Westlands estate in Droitwich has been empty for three decades and now work to convert the derelict building into new flats will go ahead after receiving the backing of Wychavon District Council’s planning committee.

The grade II listed building off Westwood Road was last used as flats in the early 1990s but had been left to rot.

The move for planning permission to convert the grade II listed building was backed by Wychavon District Council’s planning committee at a meeting in Pershore on October 12.

Cllr Rob Adams, who represents Drakes Broughton, Norton and Whittington on the district council, said: “I think Willow Court has seen better days.

“However, this is a very exciting project. It’s going to be years, but we’ll be very proud of it when it’s finished.”

The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust received more than a quarter of a million pounds in lottery funding in 2020 to help secure the building and pay for its restoration.

The trust is working with Wychavon District Council and Platform Housing on bringing the building back to life and converting it into affordable housing.

The council said it “could not say with any certainty” when the work would be finished – with the age and history of the building meaning it would have to be carried out “very sensitively.”

A decision was made by councillors because the district council owns the building and has agreed to partly fund the work – with the National Lottery Heritage Fund also footing the bill.

In a supportive report, the council’s planners said the application would help reduce the deficit in the district’s housing supply and bring an historic but empty building back into use.

Willow Court Farm was historically known as Boycott Farm and the name first appeared in documents in the mid-15th century.

A farmhouse was believed to have been built on the land in the 16th century and extended several times up until the 18th century when a new large brick extension was added. A timber frame and chimney stack still survive from the late 16th century.

The current layout of the building was created in the 1970s and it was last used as flats in the early 90s.

The council already gave permission to demolish several extensions that were built in the 70s and these will be replaced with new extensions of a similar size.

The land is classed as flood zones two and three by the Environment Agency which means it has a high risk of flooding.