A PLANNED development of hundreds of homes in the New Forest, which includes a pledge to make 50 per cent ‘affordable’, has been met by scores of objections.

Taylor Wimpey has submitted its outline plans for a major scheme on land on the edge of Ringwood.

The firm wants to build up to 400 new homes and three hectares of employment land on fields north of Hightown Road, near the A31.

An allocation of at least 270 homes on for the site is included in New Forest District Council’s Local Plan, which details key development opportunities for the next 16 years across the whole of the district.

The application was published on the council’s planning portal in recent weeks and residents have already started to voice their concerns.

Sixty objections had been submitted, with the consultation due to be open until at least February 19.

Ringwood resident Connor MacDonald said: “Very concerning to hear about the new planning proposal in some of the few green spaces left within Ringwood.

“This space holds multiple uses for the surrounding community and wildlife.

“Whether that be a recreational grounds for dog walkers and children, a safe space to travel between some of the more busier roads and areas of Ringwood off of the main roads, or an area where wildlife and nature can flourish.”

Nigel Wright said: “Ringwood has seen significant growth and overdevelopment in recent years in terms of residential homes and industrial units.

“The infrastructure is already very insufficient to meet the demands of the current population.

“The schools, doctor services and road infrastructure, in particular, will not cope with further major development.”

Many objectors referenced Linden Homes’ Beaumont Park development on land off Crow Lane and Crow Arch Lane, which is near the proposed development and was built in recent years.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: “Taylor Wimpey have submitted our proposals for up to 400 new homes and three hectares of employment land for the land north of Hightown Road, which is allocated for residential-led development by New Forest District Council.

“Of these homes, up to 50 per cent will be affordable, which will go a significant way to meeting the housing demand in the local area.

“The vision for the site is for the housing and employment space set within an attractive landscape of parks, tree-lined streets and woodland edges.

“Almost one third of the site will be public open space, and we look forward to working with the council and others to deliver the homes and jobs that Ringwood needs as soon as possible.”

Should New Forest District Council approve the outline plans which focus on access only, Taylor Wimpey would have to bring forward further applications on the details of the development before it can go ahead.

The Government defines affordable housing as homes provided for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not by the market, including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and or is essential for local workers.

This can take the form of affordable housing for rent, starter homes, discounter market sales housing or one of the other specified affordable routes to home ownership.

It must be provided at a level at which mortgage payments on the property should be more than would be paid in rent on council housing but below market levels.