COUNCILS behind the masterplan which will dictate development in South Worcestershire for the next 16 years have identified a need for a further 3,500 homes.
It comes after Government planning inspectorate Roger Clews rejected the first proposal to build 23,200 up until 2030.
Chiefs at Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils along with colleagues at Worcester City Council have since gone back to the drawing board and submitted revised plans to develop between 26,700 and 27,300 properties based on new research.
After the revised submission was published on Monday (February 3), Mr Clews has announced hearings to scrutinise the new numbers will be held on March 13 on 14.
At the initial examination in October he ruled the number of homes was likely to be significantly higher than the original figure but ruled out calls from developers to build as many as 36,000 properties.
Mr Clews also accepted the proposed development of 280 hectares of land for employment in the south of the county.
Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, said: “As I have said in Parliament, any econometric forecast of future housing need is imperfect because we can’t predict tomorrow, let alone 20 years hence.
“What is crucial is that the local plan is adopted as quickly as possible by the inspector, so that local councils and communities are no longer at the mercy of speculative planning applications in unsuitable locations.”
Coun Judy Pearce, chair of the Joint Advisory Panel which leads work on the document – South Worcestershire Development Plan – echoed the call for the process to be completed sooner rather than later.
“It is important we move forward with the plan and we hope that the inspector will now be able to determine a housing number for south Worcestershire.
“He will need to consider carefully that final number in relation to infrastructure and the environment.”
The first stage of examination will only be complete when the inspector accepts the number of proposed homes. He is then likely to call for a second phase to consider where the new homes and businesses are to be located.”