PLANS to axe a "noisy" council depot and move the lorries to a new site seven miles away have taken a major step forward.

New Forest District Council (NFDC) has given itself planning permission to build a replacement facility at the northern end of the Hardley Industrial Estate.

The decision clears the way for the closure of the Claymeadow site, which is in the middle of a residential part of Totton.

More than 90 staff will be based at the new depot, which will include an office, workshop and storage space.

A report to councillors said vehicle movements would take place for 12 hours a day but only "minimal" trips would occur at peak periods.

Referring to nearby roads it added: "There are no accident trends that this proposal would likely exacerbate. It is considered that the development does not raise concerns in terms of highway safety.

"The nearest residential property is in excess of 100m away. Therefore unacceptable impacts are not likely."

NFDC has three depots - the Claymeadow (CMD) complex at Hounsdown Avenue, Totton, and two similar facilities at Marsh Lane, Lymington, and Christchurch Road, Ringwood.

The application said: "The proposed depot is a full replacement for CMD, which is no longer fit fit for purpose. CMD is at capacity, with no room for expansion given that it is constrained on three sides by railway, road and housing.

"A small number of vehicles and operations currently based at Marsh Lane will also be relocated.

"The move to a new facility will allow vehicles to operate more effectively on a larger, more accessible and more rationalised site that meets modern needs."

As reported in the Daily Echo, plans to close the Claymeadow depot were revived a year ago.

Writing on social media one of the people living near the facility said: "I'm so looking forward to not being woken up by the reversing alarms of refuse trucks in the early hours of every morning."

Claymeadow is surrounded by houses and is also near Hounsdown School.

Totton councillor David Harrison has welcomed the proposal, saying it will end a noise nuisance and remove council lorries from a route taken by schoolchildren.