THEY must have been hoping it would prove to be a case of third time lucky.

But bosses behind a new application for a multi-million-pound fast food centre are facing the same level of hostility that resulted in two previous proposals being withdrawn.

The Gentian Development Group wants to build drive-thru restaurants for KFC and Costa Coffee on land beside the busy Rushington roundabout in Totton.

But critics claim the multi-million-pound scheme – which also includes two other retail outlets – could cause a spate of accidents by attracting extra traffic to an already dangerous area.

Scores of objections resulted in the first two proposals being withdrawn last year – despite the promise of 65 jobs.

Now the latest application has also run into opposition, with town councillors urging New Forest District Council to reject the plan.

Cllr David Harrison, a member of both authorities, said: “The scheme is not without merit because it would create jobs, help boost the local economy and provide a service that many people want.

“However, the benefits are outweighed by the traffic hazards and the damage it would do to the environment.”

Hounsdown Secondary School in nearby Jacobs Gutter Lane is also objecting to the controversial scheme.

In a letter to the district council, head teacher Julie Turvey says the proposed site is next to what she describes as a busy and dangerous road.

She adds: “In the past two years two students from Hounsdown School have been knocked down, one while using a pedestrian crossing close to the roundabout. These accidents were very serious and one student was lucky to survive.”

A district council spokesman said the proposal was likely to generate “significant” levels of extra traffic.

He said civic chiefs had to decide if the access arrangements and on-site parking levels were acceptable in terms of a highway safety.

“This is a matter on which the highway authority has been asked to comment and their views will be critical,” he said.

Gentian spokesman Jason Rockett said a traffic survey had confirmed that the road could cope with the extra traffic generated by the scheme.

He added: “We have worked hard over the last two years with council officers, stakeholders and statutory bodies to address the points associated with our previous applications.

“We are hopeful that our ongoing discussions through the planning process can resolve any outstanding points.”