A DEVELOPER has unveiled new plans to build homes at a former incinerator in the countryside outside Malvern - but is also saying that the incinerator could be switched back on.

The incinerator, at Haylers End, between Hanley Swan and Guarlford, has been subject to a number of planning applications by developer Peter Styles in recent years.

The latest plan calls for the 1970s-vintage incinerator to be knocked down and three new houses to be built in the site instead. The plan

According to a statement by the applicant's agent, BB Architecture and Planning, the development will "provide a significant landscape enhancement resulting from the replacement on the waste incinerator building with three high-quality dwellings".

An earlier plan, to build an "eco-community" of 24 homes was turned down on appeal in 2012, and another to build seven homes there was refused on appeal in 2013.

Andrew Boughton of BB Architecture and Planning said the latest plan in in response to the refusal of the seven homes, which was described as a "significant change" to the rural area.

"The removal of the incinerator and replacement with three dwellings will head to an enhancement to the immediate setting," says his report. "The building has become dilapidated, is substantial in size and does not fit in with the rural character of the area. The proposed development would be far more appropriate."

At the same time, Mr Styles has applied to Malvern Hills District Council for a certificate of lawfulness to continue using the incinerator.

Mr Boughton said: "When the site was sold by Worcestershire County Council back in 2007 there were no covenants placed on its future use. The legal use of the site remains as an incinerator and there are no planning reasons that would prevent that being the case.

"We have been approached by a party wishing to take the site on as a waste-to-energy site."

The incinerator was built in the early 1970s by the then-Malvern Hills Urban Council, and later taken over by the county council. It was closed in the 1990s following a campaign by local residents concerned about air pollution and has remained unused ever since.