COLWALL residents have voiced their concerns about controversial plans to develop the former Malvern water bottling plant in the heart of the village.

Developer Blue Cedar Homes wants to build houses and a nursing home on the site, which was closed down by Coca-Cola Enterprises in October 2010.

The plan is to create a 46- bed nursing home, a gated development of 12 homes for older people, and 13 other homes – nine of them affordable – plus a village shop.

Colwall Parish Council held a special meeting of its planning committee on Wednesday to give residents a say on the plan, which is one of the biggest in the village for many years.

About 30 residents attended and among their leading concerns was the impact of the proposed development on the village’s infrastructure, especially roads and parking, and the sewers and drainage system.

One resident said: “I’m concerned that the access onto Walwyn Road is almost opposite the Oak Drive junction.”

Another said: “Parking on the main road has been a problem for some years and with all the staff at the nursing home, traffic turning in and out of the houses and people visiting the shops, it’s going to be worse.”

And several others who attended the meeting said the idea of a gated community was alien to the village, and that Colwall did not need a nursing home.

After a wide-ranging discussion, the councillors agreed to tell Herefordshire Council the proposal should be refused as it “failed to make best use of the largest brownfield site within the settlement boundary of the parish of Colwall”.

They said since the emerging Herefordshire Core Strategy says Colwall has to find space for 129 new homes, using the site to provide only 25 new homes was a missed opportunity.

Councillor Neil Bowring said: “We want this site developed in keeping with the character of the village and this plan is not right for Colwall.”