HOUSE-BUILDER Persimmon Homes has been forced to deny it is pulling out of the Yew Tree Hill development in Droitwich.
It follows concerns raised by people due to buy properties there after rumours surfaced the company was washing its hands of the site and closing its sales office at the end of the month.
The development has been plagued by controversy since the plans were initially submitted for the site it shares with Redrow.
In total the Yew Tree Hill development will include up to 765 homes, a 200-bed care home and a mixed-use local centre on land at Pulley Lane, Newlands Road and Primsland Way, and land north of Pulley Lane and Newland Lane.
Last February Persimmon entered into a formal legal agreement with Wychavon District Council stating no more than 90 properties could be occupied until Pulley Lane was widened and the junction with the A38 was improved.
A month later the company tried to overturn the ruling to get 180 homes occupied before the roadworks were completed.
When that was unsuccessful it tried again in May to up it to 210 which was also refused.
A varying order now means Persimmon can have 188 properties occupied before the road works are completed and it is believed that limit has now been reached.
Gary Williams, Wychavon District Council’s head of planning, said: “It is already on public record that Persimmon are unable to sell any further houses at the Yew Tree Hill site due to the requirements of a legal agreement that Persimmon accepted, which was brought into force on highway grounds.
“This remains in force until improvements to the A38 / Pulley Lane junction have been implemented.
“This does not prevent them from building more houses though or completing the development.”
He added the council had not received any notification from Persimmon it had stopped development on the site.
“If we did then we would have to consider our response.”
A Persimmon Homes South Midlands spokesperson said Yew Tree Hill was an important site, providing both open market and affordable housing, desperately needed in the area.
On the legal requirement to get the work finished on Pulley Lane and the A38 junction so more homes could be occupied he added: “We remain committed to rectifying this as soon as possible so work can continue on the build and the site can be completed.”
One man whose family are living with relatives after selling their home to move to Yew Tree Hill, said: “We are relieved Persimmon is not pulling out but the time it is taking is frustrating.
“We are fortunate we don’t have a chain or rent but we are paying storage costs and there will be others waiting who are in a worse situation than us.”
He added although they liked the look and size of the house and want to move there, they had not yet exchanged contracts and were seriously considering looking elsewhere.