CAMPAIGNERS opposing plans to build housing on a field forming part of a 'green lung' in the centre of Malvern have launched a website to attract support.

The site, at, contains a petition which organisers hope as many people as possible will sign.

The petition is calling on Malvern Hills District Council to resist moves to have the land, off Hayslan Road, reclassified from urban green space to land suitable for development.

Earlier this year, development company Barwood unveiled proposals to build up to 150 houses on the field, which was once a playing field but has not been used in that capacity for decades.

The land, which is crossed by two public rights of way is extensively used by local people for dog-walking and informal recreation.

Jeff Williams, chairman of the Pickersleigh Residents Group, said: "Our main concern at the moment is to block the move to have the land reclassified. Local residents tried to get it given official village green status about ten years ago, without success, but it still has the protection of urban green space status."

Steve Ashley, another of the opponents, said: "The website has only been up and running for a couple of days but its already got 124 signatures. We are asking not only local people but people from further afield to sign.

"For people who live in Pickersleigh ward, this land is a great open space, with beautiful views up to the hills.

"And for visitors who walk on the hills, it's part of the green space which is so nice to see in the middle of Malvern's built-up area."

After Barwood unveiled its plans in May, more than 100 angry residents packed a public meeting and spoke out against the scheme.

The land is owned by the private girls' school Malvern St James, which says it intends to use the proceeds for its bursary programme to provide financial assistance for pupils.