PLANS to use a greenfield site in the New Forest for housing have been rejected after sparking 50 objections.

The district council has refused to support an application to bulldoze a house at Lin Brook Drive in Ringwood, and build nine new homes on an adjoining field.

Mark Walker Project Management wanted to provide a collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes on the site as well as 18 parking spaces.

But the council received dozens of letters of objection from local worried about the visual impact on the countryside, the potential harm to wildlife and the likelihood of noise and light pollution.

Ringwood Natural History Society also lodged a protest, saying the proposed development would adversely affect toads.

A letter from its conservation officer Theresa Holden said: “I would like to express our concerns regarding the impact this application will have on the habitat and the wildlife of the area.

“This is particularly relevant to the toad population which use Gorley Road as a route to and from their spawning sites.

“This disturbance could have a disruptive effect on the birds and other wildlife that frequent the nearby lakes. It is also likely that there will be a substantial loss of flora if these plans go ahead.”

The application was rejected by the district council on the grounds that it amounted to overdevelopment.

A report produced by planning officers said: “While the proposal would result in additional housing, within a sustainable location, these benefits do not outweigh the identified harm.”

The house in Lin Brook Drive would have been demolished to make way for an access road to the proposed new homes.

Mark Walker Project Management had cited the benefits of using what it described as a redundant piece of land for housing.

It added: “The scheme will represent a significant enhancement to the character of the area in delivering high quality dwellings on a vacant piece of land on the edge of the settlement and give rise to no harm.”

Following the council's decision the applicant could either lodge an appeal or submit a revised scheme.


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