TWO major plans for developments on the western boundary of Worcester are due to go before planners tonight.

The University of Worcester has applied to build accommodation for up to 1,540 students, a 'student hub' building and two academic buildings on land north of Oldbury Road at Lower Broadheath.

And Bloor Homes wants to build up to 1,400 new homes on land north of Oldbury Road and south of Martley Road, also at Lower Broadheath.

At a meeting of Malvern Hills District Council's northern area planning committee due to be held tonight, both plans were being recommended for approval.

Both are described as "large-scale major development" and "probably some of the most significant development proposals to have been considered by this council", along with plans by Hallam Land and Spenhill Development Ltd on nearby sites.

The Hallam plan, for 965 homes plus employment and retail areas, a care home and a primary school, is still awaiting approval; The Spenhill plan for 150 homes has been approved.

The university's plan has drawn strong objections from Broadheath Parish Council, which says that in the light of this and the other applications, "the case for a full re-examination of the traffic structure for west Worcester is urgently required".

It also says the proposed 500 parking places is inadequate.

"With no current car parking planned for university staff, a 500-seat lecture theatre, catering, maintenance or visitors, a minimum of 700 parking spaces should be considered," it says.

It also says the proposed six-storey academic building is "out of scale" to the surroundings.

The Council to Protect Rural England says: "While accepting that student numbers at Worcester University have risen and may increase further, and that they need to accommodated somewhere, we consider that concentrating as many as 1540 students into a site on the Oldbury Road is excessive and inappropriate.

Sixteen members of the public sent in objections, which included concerns about parking and the increase in traffic, concerns about disturbance and noise resulting from large numbers of students, insufficient privacy between existing homes and the proposed buildings, and the loss of existing green and undeveloped area.

The university says is contributes £231m towards the economy as well as 6,916 jobs.

In the report to the meeting, district council planning officers say: "The various benefits of the development are not significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the adverse impacts and overall the proposals are considered to represent sustainable development.

"Overall it is not considered that there will be any significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be adequately mitigated."