AN EVER-GROWING campaign group is again fighting a battle to stop hundreds of homes being built near ancient woodland on the edge of Pershore.

Plans to build up to 450 homes on land off Defford Road next to ancient woodland Tiddesley Wood has been included in the latest draft review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), a planning blueprint sets out where thousands of homes will be built across the county, which is currently out to public consultation.

Around 120 members of Protecting Pershore’s Woodland, an online campaign group, organised a silent protest outside the Civic Centre in Pershore before a council meeting last month in opposition to the plans. The district council in favour of the ‘preferred options’ document for future development to go before the public.

Concerns have also been raised by the group after recent heavy rainfall flooded the entrance to the proposed site.

Former district councillor Trudy Burge, speaking on behalf of the group, said the land was more than 6,000 years old and was a thousand years older than Pershore Abbey.

She said most of the planning applications on the land since 2007 had been rejected by the council and allowing hundreds of homes to be built would make a mockery of the planning system.

She said: “It it also makes a mockery of Wychavon’s ‘Intelligently Green’ policies to even consider building houses in this area of natural beauty and destroying the woodland boundary.

“What’s the use of planting a few wildflowers around the Abbey Park when two miles up the road you allow them to bulldoze acres of natural habitat for our wildlife to create yet another concrete jungle?”

Former councillor Val Wood said the blot on Pershore’s landscape must not be allowed and called on residents to make sure their voices were counted.

She said: “This proposed destruction of our green spaces must be stopped before it has a permanent and devastating effect on our ancient Tiddesley Wood, which is not only a triple site of special scientific interest (SSI) but has one of the greatest diversity of species in the UK.

“These will be at risk from potential noise, light and air pollution not to mention prowling pets which could destroy ground nesting birds and small mammals. This blot on our landscape must not be allowed.”