A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build 62 affordable homes near a floodplain - rejected once over flooding fears - will have a second bite of the cherry when it goes before council planners again this week.

Worcester City Council’s planning committee refused the plan by social housing provider Stonewater to build the homes at Old Northwick Farm, off Old Northwick Lane, last month over a fear the site would flood and a lack of public transport.

The council’s planning committee has been warned a second refusal could be overturned on appeal as the site has already been included for residential development in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) and has already seen a plan for 52 homes approved.

Council planners said refusing the plan could “sterilise” allocated development sites and undermine the SWDP.

Council planners also said councillors should take “extreme caution” when considering whether to reject the plan on the grounds it is unsustainable when it meets on Thursday (July 25).

They also said there has been limited evidence the site would flood.

A previous plan by Bloor Homes to build 52 homes - including 21 affordable houses - on the same site was backed by the city council in 2015 but work never started.

With the development around 400 metres from the River Severn, a flood risk assessment was carried out in December 2018 which concluded the homes would be at a ‘low’ risk.

The report said the homes were in a zone which would be at around 0.1 per cent chance of flooding in any given year.

Maps now included with the plan show the development would be a 40-minute walk from the city centre, a nine-minute walk to the smaller Co-op in Ombersley Road and a ten-minute walk to Northwick Manor Primary School. Tudor Grange Academy would be almost 40 minutes away.

The closest GPs surgery would be Barbourne Medical Centre around a 20-minute walk away.

The nearest bus stop would be 300 metres away with services running half hourly between 7am and 5pm but with no bus travelling to Worcester between the busy times of 7.47am and 9.22am.

An extra two or three students on average would need school places around Northwick if the homes were built and it would be expected that North Worcester Primary School would help address the need for places when it opens in September.