CONSTRUCTION work building 33 homes in Malvern is getting underway.

The Coppice View development in Broadlands Drive, controversially approved back in 2016, will build a mix of 26 houses, five bungalows and two apartments.

The homes will be available for shared ownership, outright sale and affordable rent.

As well as the new homes, an open space area with play facilities will also be built.

Part-funded by Homes England, the scheme is expected to be completed by January 2022 and is being delivered by Sanctuary Housing's appointed contractor Taylor French.

READ MORE: How we covered the plans at the time

Sanctuary's senior development manager Sophie Bell said: "We are delighted to be pressing ahead with building work on this exciting development which will offer a range of housing options for people in the local community.”

Steve French, Chief Executive Officer at Taylor French, added: “Taylor French is very pleased be working again in partnership with Sanctuary on this new development at Coppice View.

"We are looking forward to being part of the team in the delivery of this much needed scheme.”

Approved in March 2016, the plans for Broadlands Drive were originally for 41 homes, but the plans were scaled back after opposition from residents.

READ MORE: Controversial Broadlands Drive plans approved by Malvern councillors

At the time, local opponents said they were worried about its impact on the existing road network, especially Cowleigh Road and Belmont Road.

They said the safety of school children and parents walking to and from Northleigh Primary School would be put at risk with vehicles having to park on the pavement in Broadlands Drive and Cowleigh Bank, meaning pedestrians, push chairs, prams, and invalid carriages had to use the roadway together with traffic.

Residents also raised the issue of floodwater, saying the site was prone to flooding and that developing it might put neighbouring properties at risk.

However, the site was included for development in the South Worcestershire Development Plan, and at a meeting on Malvern Hills District Council's southern area development control committee, members reluctantly approved it.

Objections to the plans, submitted publicly to the council, included Mrs A McLaren of Broadlands Drive, who wrote: "We were told that traffic safety measures would take place from Broadlands Drive on to Cowleigh Bank.

READ MORE: Outdoor activity centre chief warns of "lost generation" caused by coronavirus crisis

"There has been no further mention of this. This will create a risk to life, especially with increased traffic in the area from the proposed development.

"Also, I worry that we do not have enough facilities locally in the area to cater for the people here already.

"There are no doctors, dentists etc. in the nearby vicinity. If extra houses are to be allowed, this should be addressed"

When the plans were discussed, Cllr John Raine said he hoped to work closely with planning officers, the highways department and the applicant on road safety measures, particularly at the Broadlands Drive-Cowleigh Bank junction.

Cllr Raine said that he, too, felt traffic calming was needed on Cowleigh Bank, and that he had wanted to establish a working party with local resident representatives as well as highways and planning officers to identify a more comprehensive and acceptable solution to the traffic problems in the road.