CONTROVERSIAL changes to planning have been attacked by a Worcestershire MP as "Stalinist".

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has called for the proposals, which could see thousands more homes built across the county, to be rejected.

Mrs Baldwin said she has written to the housing secretary Robert Jenrick, urging him to rethink the proposals following widespread criticisms.

She said: "I’ve had detailed conversations with the local planners and councillors and we are all alarmed by the implications of the proposed changes which could see a requirement to build thousands more homes in south Worcestershire.

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"The changes are clearly not taking into account that Worcestershire has lots of green space that is protected either because it is vital prime farming land or because it is part of the Malvern Hills or green belt.

"I’ve always been opposed by the imposition of housing numbers handed down by central Government and I have strongly resisted this new ‘Stalinist’ approach.

"We’re already building nearly 2,000 new homes each year, but I’m also extremely concerned that another mutant algorithm will lead to us being required to build thousands more houses.

"Having discussed this with local planners, I am convinced that we simply don’t have the available sites.

"I’ve already met with the Housing Minister to register my concerns and I’ve formally written in to the two consultations.

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"I think we can all agree that the planning process would benefit from improvement, but this white paper seems to me to be very wide of the mark."

The Government is consulting on the proposals alongside a new method for assessing housing need.

Together, the changes would mean that local councils in the south of the county would need to find sites for thousands more homes.

Earlier this month, a councillor from Malvern attacked the plans, branding them "madness".

Cllr Paul Bennett, who represents Pickersleigh Ward, said: "There is no extra affordable housing and sites up to 50 at a time will not even have to make contributions to pay for schools, roads or the new hospital we will need.

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"There were general fears of massive over-development that will just give the big housebuilders even more sites in their respective land banks and destroy vast areas of green space.

"It is absolutely crazy to suggest that we could cope with that number of homes here without completely destroying the very fabric of why people think this one of the most beautiful places in the country if not the world."

According to Cllr Bennett, if the plans were approved, more than 43,000 more homes could be built across the south Worcestershire if changes are made to calculations for housebuilding – nearly 30,000 more than was originally planned for the next two decades.

The extra homes could mean Malvern – and Wychavon – would see some of the biggest increases not only in the West Midlands but in the country.