A PLAN to convert a disused orchard in Rous Lench into four traveller pitches has been submitted to the council.

The application asks for permission to build the gypsy and traveller pitches on land behind a group of buildings known as 'The Caravan' off Radford Road to the north of Rous Lench.

Each pitch would have space for a static caravan, amenity block and space for a touring caravan along with two car parking spaces.

A double amenity block would be built to serve two pitches.

The plan is to build the pitches at the back of the site amongst the trees of a disused orchard.

A design statement included with the application said the trees are old and in poor condition.

The main orchard is to the far north of the site away from where the pitches would be placed and Wychavon District Council has recently put a tree preservation order (TPO) on the orchard to include all the trees.

The latest application follows the refusal of a previous plan for six pitches on the same site in June 2018.

The traveller family behind the application said the extra pitches would allow the rest of the family to live together as a group and lead a more stable lifestyle.

The plan has already raised some concerns by locals and Rous Lench Parish Council has submitted its objection to the application.

In a long letter of objection, the parish council said the site was an unsuitable and unsustainable location for a traveller site.

The parish council has asked for a decision to be made by Wychavon District Council’s planning committee due to the high level of local opposition.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust also objected to the plan and said the orchard was a habitat of principle importance and could possibly be home to protected insects, bats and nesting birds.

The application also said traveller accommodation is needed by the family as a consequence of the district council's failure to provide an up-to-date five year supply of suitable sites for travelling families.

Consultation on the plan ends on April 11 and comments can be made via the planning section of Wychavon District Council's website.

The application number is 19/00458/CU.