ONE of Britain’s biggest developers has unveiled plans for multi-million-pound projects in two Hampshire villages just miles apart.

McCarthy & Stone, which specialises in providing apartments for older residents, wants to build 38 flats at Beaulieu Road, Dibden Purlieu, and 16 properties in Cedar Mount, Lyndhurst.

Both schemes were the subject of meetings and exhibitions at which people living near the two sites were invited to air their views.

The Dibden Purlieu land is currently occupied by four houses, three of which are empty.

Shane Paull, McCarthy & Stone’s regional managing director, said one of the cottages had been acquired to create more space for parking and landscaping.

He added: “The proposal features approximately 65 per cent more parking spaces compared to our existing development at Haven Court, Hythe.”

People living near the Lyndhurst site acquired by McCarthy & Stone were also invited to make their voices heard.

Mr Paull added: “As a responsible developer we understand the importance of engaging with the local community and we were pleased to meet with so many local residents.

“We’d like to thank people for their constructive feedback, which has helped shape the final proposals.”

Mr Paull said the scheme could make the area safer for people walking to and from the village centre.

“Listening to local people’s feedback, we soon realised that pedestrian improvements in Shrubbs Hill Road were of particular importance to residents,” he said.

“Following the public exhibition we’ve been discussing with Hampshire County Council the possibility of funding a footpath from Cedar Mount to Sandy Lane to improve pedestrian safety and links to this part of the village.”

The two McCarthy & Stone schemes coincide with a rapid rise in the number of older residents in the New Forest.

The district has 44,200 people aged over 65 and the total is expected to increase sharply over the next 20 years.