ALMOST 2,000 jobs will be created if Worcester’s proposed new £400 million village gets the go-ahead on land south of the city, it has emerged.

Developers behind the massive 2,200 homes project say 1,600 permanent jobs will be created on the site, as well as around 290 construction roles during the 15 years it could take to complete.

The jobs bonanza for Worcester would be the biggest single boost for employment in the city for several years.

It also follows fears the scheme, for 153 acres of farmland straddling Bath Road, Crookbarrow Way and Norton Road, could result in more people commuting out of Worcester for work.

Andrew Smith, from developers Welbeck Land said: “The application is for 2,204 new homes which are likely to take circa 15 years to build.

“Taking an average completion rate at around 164 houses per year, this creates around 292 construction jobs in Worcester.

“For the permanent jobs, circa 1,600 full-time jobs would be created by the scheme.”

The bid, first revealed by your Worcester News on Tuesday, would result in 14 hectares of employment land being reserved for companies to fill.

Welbeck Land is also trying to get a primary school, supermarket, hotel, allotments, sports pitches, indoor sports facilities and an outdoor market on the site.

The company has submitted an outline planning application to district councils in Malvern, Worcester and Wychavon because the land sits in all three areas.

Nearby residents have welcomed the jobs news - but say it is vital the employment is put at the very forefront of the scheme.

Colin Prince, who lives in Whittington, said: “It’s like a chicken and egg situation, but it’s so important.

“We need to see the employment come forward before the houses are built.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "It is certainly a large number of jobs and would make a significant contribution to the city.

"I think we should be looking very positively at the economic impact that would have.

"But of course, the planners need to look at the whole of the scheme and scrutinise it all as part of the planning process."

Others say they are concerned because the new village, which would effectively sit at the top of Kempsey, will lead to more people heading towards the M5 for jobs.

Councillor Roger Knight, who represents St Peter’s, said: “There’s no easy solution to it, but I don’t think you build homes for local people so close to the M5 - you build them for commuters.”

In recent years Worcester has suffered from several high profile firms closing down, the most recent of which is Carnaud Metalbox, in Perry Wood Walk, which is shutting next month with the loss of 118 jobs.