A VILLAGE hall near Tenbury could soon have a new extension after plans were approved.

The plans, which are for a proposed single-storey lean-to extension at Eastham Memorial Hall, were submitted to Malvern Hills District Council in October, and have now been approved.

In a covering letter and statement submitted with the application, Eastham Memorial Hall Committee said the hall is the only community building in the parish, and caters for around 210 locals and a wide range of events and activities.

But shortcomings in the building's design have been found since its completion in 2021, the application said, with inadequate storage for tables and chairs, which have to be moved between the main hall and meeting rooms.

Storage limitations mean the hall cannot be used for several events at the same time, with the committee having to turn enquiries down for this reason, it said.

A previous application was submitted for a proposed single-storey extension, but this was refused in August, after the committee found that the planned extension would "incur substantially into the identified root protection area of a mature oak tree, which is subject to a tree preservation order".

This would risk damaging the tree, which was said to make an important and positive contribution to the character and appearance of the rural village scene.

But the new application said the structure would be built on screw piles sitting above ground level to mitigate the damage to the oak, while existing concrete piles within the footprint of the old hall structure would be used and built up.

A planning office's report said the tree and landscape officer raised no objection with the new plans, but that they considered it necessary to impose a condition that works are carried out following site meetings to ensure that the construction works are fully understood and implemented.

An arboricultural method statement should be implemented and followed under the supervision of an appointed arboriculturist, the report said.

The planning officer said it was considered that the revised plans would no longer result in the loss or deterioration of the tree with conditions followed.

The application was approved with conditions.