VILLAGE leaders are fighting the latest plan to bulldoze a historic Hampshire hotel partly designed by legendary author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

A proposal to replace the Lyndhurst Park Hotel with 74 retirements apartments and 12 holiday lets was rejected earlier this year after sparking more than 500 objections.

Hampshire-based developer PegasusLife has submitted an alternative application for 75 flats and 15 affordable homes., which Lyndhurst Parish Council says should also be rejected.

It follows a parish council meeting attended by more than 100 people, many highly critical of the plans to demolish the landmark hotel and redevelop the site.

The hotel dominates the eastern entrance to Lyndhurst and overlooks a Bolton’s Bench beauty spot.

Parish council chairman Mark Rolle said the latest application was differed little from that turned down by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) in February.

He accused PegasusLife of ignoring local and national planning policies and failing to take note of the NPA’s comments.

Cllr Rolle added: “The scale and design of this development is not in keeping with a village environment.”

“It’s clearly urban in design, with significant overdevelopment of the site. The proposal shows a distinct lack of understanding of the character and local needs of Lyndhurst.”

Mr Rolle added: “Lyndhurst isn’t just saying ‘no’ for the sake of it. We genuinely believe this site is worthy of something far better.”

PegasusLife has repeatedly defended its wish to demolish the hotel which it claims is of little historic or architectural interest.

But recent research by conservationists has revealed that part of the complex was designed by Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sir Arthur lived at nearby Brook and was a frequent visitor to the hotel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 1912 the building was given a major facelift based on ideas submitted by the author, who sketched out a design for a new facade and an extra storey.

The hotel closed in 2014 with the loss of more than 20 jobs. It was bought by PegasusLife for a reported £5 million.

PegasusLife were unavailable for comment.