A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a further 14 homes in a village was given the green light despite concerns it would harm the Malvern Hills.

Councillors backed a plan to build 14 homes – seven of which would be affordable – on land off Cornfield Close in Welland near Malvern.

Several objections had been raised against the plan, which would see the homes sit next to 24 already-approved homes, put forward by the same developer DB Land and Planning.

Cllr Paul Bennett said he was very concerned by the plan particularly as there was a strong objection from the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

“I cannot understand why [the objection] is being given such little weight in this,” he said at a meeting of Malvern Hills District Council’s southern area planning committee last Wednesday (June 24).

“We need to protect this area, there have been considerable number of houses built there and it is really quite extraordinary that we haven’t dealt with the local housing need considering how many we have put in Welland.

“The fact that the AONB recommendation is being ignored, I find very strange.”

He said the plan should be rejected but his call was dismissed by the committee by seven votes to three.

The plan was eventually backed by eight votes to two with four abstentions.

Cllr John Raine said he was disappointed but not surprised to see the plan moving forward and was unhappy with the design.

Cllr Mick Davies, who represents Morton, said he supported the view of council officers with “some trepidation” because of the local objections but the need for the homes had clearly been shown.

Cllr Neville Mills said he was concerned it would be another phrase on a “creeping” development that would eventually consume the whole field.