A COUPLE have asked for permission to convert a disused farm at the foot of the Malvern Hills into a physiotherapists practice for people and horses.

Physiotherapists Tim and Rhiannon Bradford, who have run Bradford’s Veterinary Physiotherapy for 13 years, want to move to Coton Cottage Farm off Hanley Road in Malvern to build a new practice to care for horses and humans.

The plans include two treatment rooms, offices, changing rooms, a gym and a waiting room.

The couple had a plan to open a practice at the same site rejected in January this year over fears it would "significantly harm" and "intrude" on the views of the Malvern Hills.

The application was also criticised for the planned loss of trees, grass verges and hedgerows, its inadequate car park and access road which would make it difficult to turn into from Hanley Road.

Council planners said it had worked with Mr and Mrs Bradford to try and resolve the problems with the application but still refused it.

The planning application has now been resubmitted having taken the council's comments on board.

The new application would see no trees cut down or hedgerows removed, the public right of way through the site would not be affected and the car park has been moved to sit within the buildings to reduce the visual impact on the Malvern Hills.

A public right of way running through the site would also not be affected.

The practice has said it would only accept appointments to keep traffic to a minimum.

The disused former small dairy farm, which has a number of agricultural buildings, stables, paddocks and an outdoor riding area, was purchased by the couple in November 2016.

The site, which sits on the edge of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and next to the Three Counties Showground, was chosen because of its location and access as well as coming already equipped with equestrian facilities.

The couple previously practised in Ledbury before moving to Malvern earlier this year and has worked with some high-profile horses – including horses who competed at the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Paul Esrich, manager of the Malvern Hills AONB Unit, welcomed the changes to car parking and landscaping.