ONE of the biggest planning applications in Malvern's recent history could be coming up for decision before the end of the year.

Back in 2015, Gleeson Developments Ltd and Welbeck Strategic Land LLP put in an outline application to build up to 800 new homes on farmland at Newland, on the north-western edge of the town.

The plan also includes employment land, a care home, a community hall, shops and other facilities, as well as playing fields and green space.

The site, bounded by Lower Howsell Road, the railway line and Worcester Road, is allocated for housing in the South Worcestershire Development Plan, and Gleeson’s interest in the land has been known about for some years.

Following an inquiry this week by the Malvern Gazette, a spokesman for Malvern Hills District Council said: “There is no confirmed date for the application to go to committee at the moment, however the planning team are hopeful it will go to committee by November.”

Alistair Watson, managing partner at Welbeck, said: "We hope that the scheme will be on the council's agenda before the end of the year, but we haven't had any confirmation.

"We've worked up our scheme in consultation with the various stakeholders and now it will be up to the council members to make a decision on what's before them."

If the plan is approved, he said, the building is likely to take some years.

He said: "The first thing to go in will be the major road improvements. We have already agreed with the highway authority that work on the roundabout should only take place in the summer months, so it doesn't interfere with the nearby gritting depot, meaning that is likely to be taking place next summer or the summer after."

The first version of the planning application included a new primary school, but this was omitted in a later revision.

Other changes in the revised plans include: removing a proposed cemetery, increasing the size of the playing fields to include three football pitches and a cricket pitch, enlarging the community hall, and increasing the 'green infrastructure', which includes open spaces, woodland, community orchards and allotments.