A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build affordable housing in Malvern could still go ahead after an appeal was lodged with a government inspector.

Affordable housing providers Fortis wants to build nine homes on land off Beauchamp Road in Malvern but the plan was rejected by council planners in May saying the long-protected green space should not be built on.

Fortis has now launched an appeal with the government to try and get the decision overturned.

Several objections were raised against the plan with some saying the land was a “green oasis” for residents.

One objection by a neighbour in Leigh Sinton Road said: “This land currently provides a valuable green oasis and is well used by local residents and dog owners.

“Surely with all the large-scale development planned in Malvern it is vital to retain some green space in an established residential area.”

Another objection said the land had been used by families for more than two decades which would be ruined if it was handed over for more housing.

"This area of land has been used by my family and friends for children's play, dog walking, recreation and picnics for over 22 years," the objection said.

"Parking and traffic is already congested in this area and an area for wildlife and nature will be lost.

"There are other areas more suited to development and this area of land is vital and treasured by surrounding residents, not only in Beauchamp Road and Leigh Sinton Road, but further afield."

A report outlining Malvern Hills District Council's rejection said: “The area proposed for housing makes an important contribution to the overall green space which has long been protected through local planning policy as part of a network of open spaces that contribute to the distinctive form and character of the town.

“In particular, it adds to a sense of openness and space in relation to existing development thereby making a positive contribution to the character and amenity of the immediate area and that of the wider town, a contribution that would be lost should planning permission be granted.”

District council planners also said building more homes on green space would affect views from the Malvern Hills.