CAMPAIGNERS fighting housing plans for the south of Droitwich have been boosted with news that land at Yew Tree Hill could be saved from developers.

A response to Droitwich Spa Town Council’s planning committee chairman, Councillor Roy Murphy, from Government Planning Minister Nick Boles has given hope that potential development plans for the area could be safely rejected.

Councillor Murphy had written to the minister to express concern at the prospect of further unwanted housing development to the south of the town.

People living near Yew Tree Hill and members of campaign group Save Our Green Open Space (SOGOS) are against plans to build around 800 homes at the site.

Two applications are set to be discussed by Wychavon District Council’s planning chiefs on May 16.

Barberry Droitwich Ltd has submitted plans for its 500-home Yew Tree Village scheme, which includes an indoor bowls facility, while Persimmon Homes has applied to build around 260 other houses near the same location.

Planners have already approved land at Copcut Lane, Droitwich, to provide additional housing for the town in the period to 2030.

The town council now feared that, despite the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan, planning permission would be granted to these further large scale developments on the edge of Droitwich.

However, in his response to Councillor Murphy, Mr Boles acknowledged that the development plan could already be considered as it was ready for submission to the Secretary of State prior to public examination in the summer.

Councillor Murphy said: “Whilst we still have a long way to go before the local development plan receives final approval, I believe that the minster's letter does give some hope that we may be able to resist pressure from developers for further unwanted and unneeded housing development to the south of our town.”

In a letter to the town’s MP, Peter Luff, Mr Boles has also agreed to visit the district to discuss these and other planning issues with local planning chiefs.

Councillor Murphy said that he would look forward to the visit and the opportunity to discuss the town’s planning concerns with Mr Boles directly.