PLANNING chiefs are studying proposals to build up to 300 homes - a third of which will be affordable - on the edge of the New Forest.

Bloor Homes and a local landowner, Barker-Mill Estates, are seeking consent to redevelop a large area of rural land between Calmore and the M27 motorway.

The submission of a planning application follows a public consultation carried out earlier this year.

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If the scheme goes ahead the main access will be off a new roundabout opposite Brookes Hill industrial estate. A secondary junction nearby would also serve as an entrance for vehicles during the construction period.

The public consultation started just days after New Forest District Council approved the new Local Plan, which identifies a raft of sites considered suitable for housing.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the council's decision paves the way for 10,420 homes to built across the district by 2036.

The proposals put forward by Bloor Homes and Barker-Mill Estates have sparked a mixed response on social media.

Critics of the proposed development say it will create extra traffic problems as well as increasing the strain on GP surgeries and other services.

One person posted: "It's of no benefit to Totton whatsoever and will place a huge burden on overstretched facilities." Another social media user added: "Traffic is a nightmare already."

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But supporters say it will provide much-needed housing in an area where many people currently have little or no hope of owning their own home.

One person said: "I would like to think my grandchildren will have a home in the future. People moan when no new homes get built and moan when they are."

Bloor Homes and Barker-Mill Estates hope to start work in 2022 if permission is granted.

In a joint statement they said: “We are delighted that following on from an extensive consultation with the local community, councillors and planning officers, we have submitted our outline plans for the development of land north of Salisbury Road.

“We are pleased with the response to our public consultation, with over 2,400 people viewing our proposals through our dedicated website.

"Our outline application will provide up to 300 much-needed new homes, including affordable housing, a range of public open spaces, road and transport improvements as well as funding towards the improvement of local facilities.

"Our plans will make a considerable contribution to meeting the housing needs of the New Forest district."