PLANS to build hundreds of new homes on land to the south of Droitwich have been given the go ahead by Wychavon planning committee after members deferred the decision because of concerns about the architecture.

The plans are phase one in a development which could see 740 residential units being built between Roman Way and Copcut Lane, along with employment premises, a local centre, and associated infrastructure.

The entire development received outline planning permission in January of this year, but conditions placed on the approval meant that developers had to meet a number of conditions known as reserved matters before any full permission would be granted.

These meant that the plans would be split into phases to ensure infrastructure was in place to support the increase in housing, and certain things were required including access roundabouts, toucan crossings, improvements to the A38 southern approach to Droitwich, improvements to the signals at Martin Hussingtree, and the creation of cycleways, footways, footpaths and drainage, which all had to be put in place before any of the houses were allowed to be occupied.

Committee members deferred a decision on granting the full planning permission at an earlier meeting, after one councillor, Tony Miller, described the plans for the three story extra care block as ‘an Eastern European block design’, saying that he thought developers ‘could've done something a little bit more sympathetic and conducive to the rural area’.

However at a meeting held on Thursday, full planning permission was granted for phase one of the development, which takes up 10.99 hectares of the larger 40.28 hectare site.

Phase one is made up of the first 281 dwellings which include two, three, four and five bedroom houses, as well as 100 extra care apartments. It also includes all of their associated infrastructure, landscaping and a play area.

Committee member Councillor Michael Barratt, said: “I personally wasn’t concerned about the number of buildings proposed, because they fitted the site, but there were a lot of three storey dwellings that could be seen quite easily. It’s a high site and they were visible at the top for miles around, but now it’s coming down with two storeys, it’s not so offensive to the eye. I was fully supportive of that.”

Three further phases of the development are still yet to be granted full planning permission.