RESIDENTS are up in arms about a “dangerous” new housing development being proposed for their narrow country lane.

People living in Hyde Lane, at Tunnel Hill, Upton-upon -Severn, were shocked and incensed to see a development of 18 homes earmarked in the latest version of the South West Development Plan – which is set to become the planning blueprint for the area for the next two decades.

And more than 100 people have signed a petition, while dozens have written objection letters to Malvern Hills District Council .

They say the lane is already a blackspot for accidents, a rat run for cars speeding at more than 60mph which leave horse riders and pedestrians jumping to safety. Graham Mealand, who has lived in Hyde Lane for 25 years, said it had become “progressively more dangerous”, even without the spectre of more vehicles.

“The residents in Tunnel Hill who would be mostly affected by this project, with at least another 40 cars using Hyde Lane, are up in arms about the road dangers, which are bad enough already,” he said. “There have been two previous applications to try and develop the land and both times the council has turned it down simply because the access is too dangerous.

“And yet here it is again and now being recommended by the very planners who have turned it down.” Residents also fear the development might be the tip of the iceberg, opening up access to acres of potential building land on open countryside behind Tunnel Hill.

Upton Town Council discussed the latest SWDP proposals last week and is objecting to the allocation at Hyde Lane.

Deputy mayor Paul Bennett saying it should never have been considered in the first place. “It's ridiculous – it's an unacceptable site that would not normally get planning permission,” he said.

He was shocked to see it included as councillors have been working with MHDC looking at two sites on Welland Road, in Tunnel Hill, which it believes are far more suitable. “We want houses but we want them in the right place. We are trying desperately to get our sites considered so there is no need to look at either Hyde Lane or across the river in Holly Green,” he said.

MHDC leader David Hughes said a public consultation is currently looking at the changes to the SWDP.

“At this stage, the site in question has not been ruled out on highway grounds by Worcestershire County Council , and the aim of the consultation is to specifically encourage feedback from local residents,” he said.

“Any concerns about highway safety and access arrangements will be taken into account and raised with the county’s highways department before any final decisions on the plan are taken.”