A PLAN for a major urban extension of almost 1,000 homes near Malvern was given the go-ahead this week by councillors.

Members of Malvern Hills District Council's northern area planning committee voted 9-6 to approve the scheme by Hallam Land Management Ltd to build more than 950 new homes on land north of the A44 Bromyard Road at Lower Broadheath.

The application also includes land for employment use, a local centre which could include shops, restaurants, pubs and takeaways, a primary school, open spaces and up to 10 travellers’ pitches.

At the meeting of the committee on Wednesday evening, planning officers recommended that councillors grant outline approval for the application, in line with the guidance of the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

This means that many detailed aspects, such as the layout of the sites, designs of the buildings and other matters, will be decided with later more intricate applications.

Cllr Douglas Godwin, who represents Broadheath, described dealing with the application as a “saga”, with discussions dating back to 2013, and the application itself having been made in 2015.

Recommending it for approval, he said: “It has been discussed at great length in many meetings here and in the parish councils. This application is already part of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), and it strongly reflects that plan. It has been thoroughly talked through.”

Cllr David Chambers, the other member for Broadheath, seconded the motion to approve the proposal, saying: “When the application for full planning is made, we will expect to see a standard of excellence and architectural integrity.”

But Alfrick and Leigh member Anthony Warburton said: “This decision is dictated by the SWDP, which I regret to say is a dog’s dinner; it was a national plan that was imposed on us by the government.”

In July 2018, the same committee approved a plan by the University of Worcester to build accommodation for up to 1,540 students at a site off Oldbury Road, Lower Broadheath.

And at the same meeting, they also greenlighted a plan by developer Bloor Homes Ltd to build up to 1,400 new homes, on an adjacent site, between Oldbury Road and Martley Road.