ANGRY residents in a Hampshire town held a protest to send out a clear message to council chiefs over controversial plans for hundreds of new homes.

Seventy Alresford residents gathered near the proposed site off Sun Lane to voice their opposition to the scheme for 320 new homes.

The site is a key part of Winchester Local Plan, which says the historic market town should have 500 new homes by 2031.

But although residents say they are now fighting a “rearguard” action against the plans, they are not |giving up the fight and want council chiefs in Winchester to reconsider their plans.

Residents in nearby streets have hit out about “poor communication” with town residents about the plans, and say the new development will turn their roads into “rat runs” which could be dangerous for local youngsters.

Alresford Town Council has said the town needs to grow to secure its long-term future, but they and civic chiefs in Winchester came under fire from residents at a packed public meeting in Perins School last week, that was attended by 500 people.

As well as the new homes, the site could also see industry relocated from the town centre as well as a new gypsy and traveller site with access off the A31 bypass.

‘Dangerous’ Speaking at yesterday’s protest, Sam Kerr-Smiley from the Nursery Road Residents’ Group, said an increase of traffic on the residential street was a big concern.

He said: “It’s a lovely road with open spaces which means youngsters are able to enjoy themselves, but it’s already getting dangerous with the number of cars driving down there.

“We want Winchester City Council to show that they have taken our concerns into account and our road doesn’t turn into a rat run.”

Windermere Gardens resident Janet Barker told the Daily Echo: “It will be like opening Pandora’s box.

“The issue of access for construction traffic has not been addressed.”

With the local plan already adopted by Winchester City Council, the next step would be for a developer to come forward with plans for the site and hand in a planning application.