OUTRAGED residents in Clent have launched a campaign to fight “ludicrous” plans to build affordable homes on a village beauty spot.

West Mercia Housing Group and Clent Parish Council have applied to build ten new homes on woodland known locally as ‘The Pleck’.

But angry villagers say the location for the proposed development off Holy Cross Lane is in a conservation area and should be protected - not turned into a housing estate.

They also fear the narrow lane leading to the parish council owned site would not cope with extra traffic generated by a new development which would comprise a mix of cut-price flats and houses.

Angry resident Caroline Howard said: “The villagers are in uproar.

“It’s such a stupid place to put affordable houses. We’re not saying we don’t want affordable housing. It’s not nimbyism, it’s the location. It’s absolutely ludicrous.

“It’s obvious that lane is dangerous now. How do they think they’re going to have more families with cars going down there?

“We will do everything we can to let people know the majority of residents in Clent don’t want it there.”

Resident Jane Whallett said: “The Pleck is a local beauty spot that should be protected, not destroyed.

“The woodland is home to badgers, grass snakes, hedgehogs, bats, owls, as well as buzzards and other smaller birds. It also has a tree preservation order on it.”

Andrew Piddock, chairman of Holy Cross Conservation Group - set up to fight the plan, added: “This development would destroy what is a village amenity to a large number of residents and it would also destroy the country nature of that particular lane.”

The scheme aims to offer cash-strapped young people and families with connections to Clent a chance to rent or get on the property-ladder in their home village.

Bromsgrove-based West Mercia Housing Association says the majority of stakeholders support the creation of affordable homes built in Clent.

But a survey carried out when plans were first unveiled three years ago, revealed 76 per cent of residents who turned out for a public exhibition were not in favour of the scheme proposed.

Objectors, who are now busy co-ordinating a campaign on www.savethepleck.com, say there are already “reasonably-priced one to three bedroomed flats” in the village, which would make “ideal starter homes for young couples”.

Chairman of Clent Parish Council Ed Shepherd said however: “As a parish council we have taken the decision that these houses need to be provided for the future for the youngsters that have connections with the parish.

“They will never go on the open market, and they will be designed to blend in with the existing buildings.

“A survey’s gone out and the objectors are not that great in numbers.”

Residents have until August 10 to make their views on the scheme known to Bromsgrove District Council planners.