PLANS to build 143 homes near a Hampshire nature reserve are likely to be approved next week - despite more than 500 objections to the scheme.

Members of New Forest District Council are being recommended to approve an application submitted by Gladman Developments, which wants to develop a site off Snails Lane, Blashford.

Gladman says the homes - 50% of which will be affordable - will help tackle the area's housing shortage.

However, the site’s proximity to Blashford Lakes – flooded former gravel pits used for nature conservation and recreational activities - has resulted in a huge number of objections.

Objectors include Ringwood Town Council and Ellingham, Harbridge and Iblsey Parish Council. Both have raised concerns about the potential impact of the homes on the local infrastructure and Snails Lane, a private road used by commoners to drive livestock on to the New Forest.

Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust wants the developer to make a £142,092 contribution towards the cost of supporting health facilities in the area.

The application has sparked 529 letters of objection and only one of support.

But members of the district council's planning committee will be recommended to approve the application at their meeting next week.

A report to councillors says: "Overall, whilst a small part of the proposed development is contrary to policy, it is considered that it meets the three key objectives of sustainable development.

"It would meet social objectives by creating a safe, vibrant and healthy new community; and it would meet environmental objectives by securing a high quality built environment and by protecting and enhancing the natural environment."