THE development of the former Royal Worcester Porcelain site must overcome several hurdles before planning permission is granted.

Developer Berkeley Homes announced last week it planned to build 460 houses on the former Severn Street site.

Offices, a hotel, restuarants, cafs and shops all feature on the proposals for the former Royal Worcester site on Severn Street.

The company revealed it would put the plans out to public consultation, with a full exhibition, before a planning application is submitted in the summer.

But even if public reaction is favourable, Berkeley must still convince Worcester City Council that the development will not adversely affect the area, and residents will be adequately served by roads, schools, medical services and leisure facilities.

City council senior planner Jim Pithouse said the development was not included in the Local Plan and the area was designated for employment use, which could be a stumbling block.

"At this stage technical surveys, such as traffic and archaeological surveys are still to be carried out so there is no formal planning application," he said.

"There are a number of issues which have to be looked at. More than 400 new units could have consequences."

Mr Pithouse said the council wanted to ensure there was a "balanced community" of residential areas, employment sites and services.

He said the council welcomed the developer's decision to make its plans public.

"There have been lots of rumours about the future of the site but the Government has advised that for major developments where there are changes of use, there should be public consultation."

Andrew Saunders-Davies, the chairman of Berkeley Homes Oxford and Chiltern, said his company was keen to hear from interested parties.

"We want to engage with the public and hear what they have to say," he said.

"When we exhibit the plans, they will see exactly what we are proposing and we'll give out a questionnaire in order to gauge their views."