PLANS to build dozens of retirement apartments in an upmarket Hampshire town have been thrown out for the second time in less than a year.

Civic chiefs have rejected the latest multi-million-pound proposal to bulldoze four homes at Stanford Hill, Lymington, and transform the site.

An application to build 45 retirement apartments for people aged 60 and over was turned down in December last year.

Pegasus Life went back to the drawing board and submitted a revised scheme which aimed to overcome the objections - but the district council has also rejected the new proposal.

Pegasus could decide to lodge an appeal or submit another application.

Daily Echo:

Spencer Lindsay, development director for the project, said: "In refusing this scheme we feel the council has missed a great opportunity to help see much-needed specialist later living housing built locally.

"It's also a shame that the significant social and economic benefits of developments such as this were not fully recognised.

"We'll be considering the council's decision in more detail with our professional team before we decide on our next step."

Stanford Hill, the western gateway to Lymington, is home to several historic buildings.

Lymington and Pennington Town Council lodged an objection to the latest scheme, claiming it would have an "over-dominant" impact on the area.

It also said the proposed development failed to address the need for affordable housing in the district.

More than 20 members of the public also urged the district council to reject the application. They said it would create extra traffic problems in the area and claimed Lymington was already "saturated" with housing for older residents.

A report to district councillors said some of the reasons for refusing the earlier application had been overcome.

But it added: "There are objections based on design, scale, mass and location of the building, together with its impact on dedicated heritage assets and two adjoining properties."

Pegasus sought consent to replace four existing homes with a three and four-storey block containing 44 self-contained apartments.

Alterations to the previous proposal included an improved access, extra parking and a reduction in the height of part of the complex.

The application said: “The emerging Local Plan acknowledges that the population of the plan area is ageing and living longer, with the number of people aged 75 and over projected to increase by 65% (12,800) in the plan period."

But the scheme was rejected at a meeting of the district council's planning committee.

Cllr Sue Bennison, one of the members who spoke against the application, said the proposed development was "akin to a small village".