CONSTRUCTION has started on a retirement development in Ringwood that sparked a wave of protest among residents.

McCarthy & Stone, one of the town’s major employers, has begun work on 33 one- and two-bedroom apartments for people over the age of 60 at Parsonage Barn Lane and Mount Pleasant Lane.

Residents criticised the plan as overdevelopment, and said that it would lead to traffic chaos and would provide apartments that are “not needed” in Ringwood.

The company won the planning battle and will welcome residents from 2015.

Apartments will be on sale off plan this summer.