PROPOSALS for a new housing development on the outskirts of a village have been heavily criticised by residents.

Developer Lioncourt Homes held a public consultation on its plans to build 120 new homes on land to the east of Main Road, Kempsey, near Worcester – land which is not earmarked for development in the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

The proposal also includes a large area of parkland, with play facilities and a community orchard.

About 100 people attended the public exhibition at Kempsey Community Centre.

A flyer advertising the public consultation was posted to residents the week before and raised opposition during a recent meeting of Kempsey Parish Council.

During public question time, Bob Clarke, of Main Road, Kempsey, said: “We are concerned about the flyer that’s hit our homes from Lioncourt Homes.

“The SWDP does not include that site in it. If the SWDP is submitted to the Secretary of State, that site will not be used for housing.”

Another resident said: “My concern is the sneaky way Lioncourt Homes are going about things.

“They are taking advantage of the five-year plan.”

But Robin Austin, of The Limes, Kempsey, said: “This seems to me that they put this application in because they thought Malvern Hills District Council were going to vote against the SWDP.

“We need to congratulate those councillors who were brave enough to vote for it. It will probably protect us from this planning application.”

As previously reported in your Worcester News, Malvern Hills District Council voted to send the SWDP, which earmarks land for 23,000 properties between now and 2030, back to the drawing board during a meeting in November over controversial plans for an urban extension of 700 homes at Newland.

But councillors had a change of heart in December and eventually approved the plan.

Councillor Bob Bowley, chairman of Kempsey Parish Council, said: “The point to remember at the moment is it is not a proposal, there’s no documentation.

“Malvern Hills did not know about it before we did.

“In that sense, there’s nothing for us to object to at the moment.

“There’s not really very much we can do until there’s a proposal.”

A spokesman for Lioncourt Homes said comments made during the exhibition are now being reviewed by its consultant team in order to consider how the scheme can evolve further.

The next stage, he said, could see them submit a planning application to Malvern Hills District Council.