A DEBATE over two controversial housing developments in Hampshire has been deferred.

Eastleigh councillors were expected to discuss plans to build up to 77 new homes and shops in Hedge End and 99 homes on land north of Broad Oak in Botley.

But the discussion was put on hold and has now been deferred until January.

Eastleigh Borough Council has confirmed that the two proposals have been deferred due to ongoing discussions between the council and the applicants.

Members of the action group Botley For Gaps (BFG) – set up last summer in a bid to stop the proposed development for land north of Broad Oak – welcomed the news.

They said they hoped it would give councillors more time to think about the decision to make.

BFG member Sam Trace, 39, a researcher, from Botley, said: “One of the arguments was that there were other gaps separating Hedge End and Botley but now there are new plans for a development at Uplands Farm Estate between Hedge End and Botley, so I really hope the plans for the 99 new homes won’t go ahead. There’s nothing we can do at the moment.”

Colin Mercer, chairman of Botley Parish Council, had previously objected to the plans.

He added: “ I still cannot see any benefit coming from the proposed development.

“We don’t need additional development.”

The plans were put forward by Persimmon Homes.

A Persimmon Homes South Coast spokesman said: “The company is having ongoing discussions with the local authority through the planning process as we work to address comments provided by the council and other consultees.

“We remain committed to delivering much-needed homes to the area.”

Meanwhile, Jerry Hall, borough councillor for Hedge End ward, said he hopes developer Hedge End Holdings Ltd will come up with different plans for the former Budgens store site on Upper Northam Road.

As previously reported, the area could see 77 new homes, shops, a restaurant, a hot food takeaway and parking spaces.

But residents raised concerns about the impact that the development would have on parking, traffic, infrastructure and the character of the town.

Now that the discussion over the proposal has been deferred, Cllr Hall said: “I am hoping the developer will understand the public don’t want a development that big.

“It’s vital the plans go to the Local Area Committee before making a decision.”

The Daily Echo contacted Hedge End Holdings Ltd, but they were unable to provide a comment before the Echo went to press.