WORK to build new homes on land at Pickersleigh Grove in Malvern is set to begin imminently.

Malvern-based contractor Speller Metcalfe confirmed yesterday that it will be starting work on the 92 new homes for Fortis Living in the next few days.

The project is one of the largest developments of affordable housing in Malvern during recent years.

Norberto McBride, divisional manager with Speller Metcalfe, said that preliminary work is already being carried out on the site.

He said: “Our aim is to get all the big plant and machinery on site before the Grove School re-opens after the summer holiday.”

He said temporary water and electricity supplied had been laid on and that a permit from Worcestershire County Council’s highways department, which is needed before work can begin, was expected imminently.

He said that the public rights of way crossing the land were now closed and urged people to respect the closure.

He said: “We have had instances of people climbing over the barriers, and we urge them not to do that. The rights of way will be reopened following the completion of work.”

The homes are being built on the site of 42 houses that were demolished in 2016.

The multi-million pound development will be a mix of 60 two-, three-, and four-bed houses for shared ownership sale, plus a further eight two and three-bed houses and 24 one-bedroom flats for affordable rent.

Malcolm Robinson, of Geraldine Road said: “I was surprised to see recently that construction has still not commenced some 18 months after 48 or so homes were demolished.

“This means that for a considerable period of time Malvern’s social housing stock has been unnecessarily depleted.

“A lot of money had been spent on these properties over the years in terms of modernisation and insulation and surely they should have been retained until they could have been quickly replaced.”