A “NEGLECTED” pub site in Upton could be redeveloped with new housing.

But concerns have been raised as to why new development is being proposed when the existing 18th-century property is in a widely-acknowledged state of disrepair.

The Royal Oak public house was converted into two flats in the early 1970s, but the site is now empty and in disrepair.

Now, Malvern Hills District Council has received a planning application to build two new two-bedroom houses in a yard area to the rear.

Planning agent Ian Guest and Associates says the property has been “badly neglected for years”

and is in a poor state of repair.

It will require a “considerable investment” to bring the existing building up to scratch, and questions whether, in its current form with only two flats, that is economically viable. However the additional houses should “significantly enhance” the property’s value and be a catalyst to the required works to the existing building being done.

Upton Town Council planning committee said, although it is pleased to see funds being allocated to the property, it is “dismayed” no restoration of the main building is included.

Members say they will only give their backing to the proposal if it is amended.

MHDC has had letters from residents with similar concerns.

Ray Gidley, of School Lane, said: “The facade and original building is in desperate need of a facelift, it is quickly falling into disrepair. Surely this should be the main priority.”

MHDC has set a target date of Tuesday, July 10, to decide the application.