A LANDOWNER’S scheme to build more than 60 homes on a greenfield site in exchange for donating land for a nature reserve has been submitted to planners.

Tom Hanslip is offering Test Valley Borough Council 150 acres of “ecologically important” land, including Fishlake Meadows, in Romsey, if he can develop 13 acres of adjoining farmland.

The number of houses proposed for the Oxlease Farm site, off Cupernham Lane, has been increased from 58 to 64.

Mr Hanslip bought Oxlease Farm in 2008 and currently runs a livery business there.

Fishlake Meadows is a Site of Important Nature Conservation (SINC) and a haven for birds and Britain’s rare water vole.

Mr Hanslip claims the area is in urgent need of extensive management and investment if the habitats are to be retained and enhanced.

If the application were to be approved by Test Valley planners the land would be given to the council along with an investment of approximately £1.5m to fund its long-term improvement and management for at least 25 years.

An exhibition of the revised scheme will be held on Friday, October 19 at Romsey Town Hall from 4pm to 7pm.