RESIDENTS will tonight plead with councillors not to allow dozens of houses to be built on Hampshire countryside.

Developers want to put 98 homes on fields at Hatch Farm in West End but residents fear they will overwhelm services and result in more traffic and loss of countryside.

Neighbours, who formed a residents association to fight the plans, will be joining forces at a meeting today where the site’s fate will be decided.

But committee members are being recommended in a report ahead of the meeting to approve it despite 41 objections.

Plans for the site, north of Barbe Baker Avenue, also involve a children’s play area, a pond specially designed to take excess rainwater and diverting a public right of way.

But residents claim local infrastructure, like schools and doctors’ surgeries are already under pressure.

Residents said they understood the need for more housing.

But they said, with more than 100 houses already agreed for the Moorgreen Hospital disused site at the other end of West End village, the village would be sandwiched in the middle of traffic from more than 200 extra homes.

They fear the cumulative impact of this on Swaythling Road and Botley Road, the main road between West End and Hedge End.

Ben Blowers, chairman of the 40-strong Hatch Farm Preservation Association, said this was a loss of open space in an increasingly urbanised area.

He also highlighted fears about water running off this site in previous years causing problems and that this will get worse if it is built on.

Nearby resident Sabrina Touzel said the development would have a “seriously detrimental impact on West End and the privacy of many existing residents” and that the resulting traffic would be “horrendous”.

She added: “We will lose an important open space that many local people and families enjoy and which supports a range of wildlife.

“The traffic from this site if built will add to the overburdened major A27.”

Residents also expressed concern that the site was owned by Eastleigh Borough Council and yet it was the planning authority deciding the outcome.

Tim Willcocks, assistant director of land and new homes at developer Radian Homes said it had worked with the council on its plans and consulted the public extensively and the design had evolved, “where possible” in response to people’s views.

“The development at Hatch Farm will provide much needed new housing, including affordable housing for local people and public open space, and we look forward to continuing to work with the local community,” he added.

The council did not respond to an request for comment.

Councillors will decide at a meeting at the Hedge End 2000 Centre at 7pm.