ONE of Britain's biggest housebuilders is reviewing its options after two failed attempts to replace a former Hampshire police station with retirement apartments.

McCarthy & Stone wants to bulldoze the old Hampshire Constabulary complex in Jones Lane, Hythe, and transform the site by building more than 30 flats.

But two proposals put forward by the company have been rejected after sparking a large number of objections.

A company spokeswoman said: "McCarthy & Stone is reviewing its position and discussions are ongoing with the police as to how the site will come forward.

Daily Echo:

“Whilst we very much still believe our proposals to provide much-needed specialist retirement accommodation in the area would be a suitable redevelopment of the site, we need to review our plans and assess whether we are able to bring this forward whilst responding to the previous reasons for refusal.”

McCarthy & Stone's first application to redevelop the site was thrown out in 2017 after sparking 76 objections.

New Forest District Council's planning committee refused to support proposals for 35 flats, with one member comparing the proposed development to a prison.

The company later submitted a revised scheme for 33 homes.

McCarthy & Stone said: "We believe we have created a high-quality building and environment for later-years living while enhancing a derelict and underused site.

“The development team has worked hard to produce a scheme that we consider to have a positive impact on a prominent site, taking into consideration the many facets that come with the design and function of retirement living and integrating in to the site and context.”

But the scheme was rejected earlier this year after the council's chief planning officer, Claire Upton-Brown, criticised what she described as the "poor design".

Daily Echo:

The application had prompted more than 30 letters of protest.

Objectors included Hythe and Dibden Parish Council and the Jones Lane and Dibden Lodge Close Residents' Association, which represents more than 50 households.

In a letter to the district council the residents' association said: "We already have a large number of retirement flats and individual homes for elderly people as well as a recent retirement development on nearby Southampton Road.

“Repeatedly approving further housing of this type could substantially change the nature and make-up of the Hythe village community.

"A community should consist of people of all ages rather than a preponderance of one age group in particular."