CAMPAIGNERS are fighting plans to build 145 homes on the edge of a Hampshire town.

Two developers have sparked fury by submitting proposals to build a new estate beside a disused railway line that marks the northern boundary of Fordingbridge.

People living in the area say the new homes will generate too much traffic as well as placing extra strain on schools and other services.

If planning permission is granted the properties will be built on rural land off Whitsbury Road.

Objectors include Scott Hanham, of Dudley Avenue, Fordingbridge, whose letter to New Forest District Council said: “The proposed development contains too many dwellings - 70-100 would be more suited to the space available.The local infrastructure is already creaking under the strain.

“The quality of life for all the existing residents in the area should be the prime consideration and should not be allowed to be eroded.”

Fellow protester Callie Wilson, of Bedford Close, Fordingbridge, added: “Fordingbridge is already a fairly large, semi-rural town with houses piled on top of each other on numerous estates. Pushing the housing boundary further out will take away the New Forest feel of the town.”

Derek Scully, of Bedford Close, Fordingbridge, says: “The old railway line has always been seen as the northern boundary for development and should remain so.”

Other objectors claim the proposed development will create extra traffic problems, posing a hazard to families on the school run.

Ben King, of Fordingbridge, says: “There are too many cars parked in roads and clogging them up as it is. Why ruin it further by expanding, and destroying the countryside.”

Applicants, Highwood Homes and Pennyfarthing Homes, claim traffic assessments show the housing will have “no adverse effects on the existing transport network”.

Planning documents say the scheme includes starter homes and affordable housing, adding that the properties will make a valuable contribution to housing in the Forest. They also describe it as an “appropriate development” for an edge-of-settlement site north of Fordingbridge.