A COMMUNITY has pleaded its case to protect Hampshire countryside from developers.

Residents and councillors made their feelings known on plans for up to 150 homes in Bursledon which are being re-examined by a Government planning inspector.

Some campaigners held a protest against the plans ahead of the public inquiry, at the Lowford Centre, in Bursledon with placards with slogans like “stop building on Hamble Lane” and “No more traffic!”

Taylor Wimpey wants to build homes on land off Hamble Lane roundabout, at its junction with Portsmouth Road.

Members of the council’s Bursledon, Hamble-le-Rice and Hound Local Area Committee opposed the plans last May amid concerns of loss of green space, that it did not fit with the area and the effect of construction on residents.

Government inspector Rupert Grantham heard residents’ concerns over loss of the countryside gap between Bursledon |and Southampton, increased traffic and pollution and pressure on local schools and doctors.

Hound resident Kim Sandom said: “That we have to provide for future generations... I don’t think anybody disputes that fact, what we dispute is that land, that green countryside should be taken to ‘get the economy going’ and be used for the greed of developers.”

He said he was not convinced that the council needed the homes it was planning for and pointed to hundreds of homes on the market.

Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House urged the inspector against allowing the development saying that the authority would shortly be submitting its Local Plan which committed it to delivering housing on the most sustainable sites.

After Hampshire County Council’s highways department withdrerw its objections, the debate now hinges on whether the development is needed in the gap that separates Bursledon and Southampton, its impact on that landscape and the borough’s housing land supply.

Christopher Boyle QC, representing Taylor Wimpey, said in his opening comments that many reasons behind the previous refusal had since been overcome.

He said the current local plan was out of date and that the authority was unable to demonstrate the required five-year housing land supply.

He said the site was sustainable and had appropriate transport links.

The inquiry is expected to last until tomorrow.