CAMPAIGNERS are fighting plans to build almost 40 homes on a tree-lined site currently occupied by a single house.

The AJC Group is seeking outline consent to redevelop two acres of land at Dibden Purlieu by building properties ranging from one-bedroom flats to three-bedroom houses.

The L-shaped plot, known as Orchard Gate, is surrounded by houses at Noads Way, Lime Walk and Lime Close.

Many of the people living near the site are opposing the application, claiming it will double the number of homes in the immediate area.

More than 70 residents attended an open air meeting held to discuss the application.

Dr Jamie Cunliffe, who hosted the meeting, said: “We have always known that some sort of development would take place on this site but it needs to be in keeping with the existing street scene.”

Fellow protester David Cole added: “This is an outlandish application that shows contempt for the residents of the area.”

Other objectors criticised plans to fell protected trees on the site. They also raised concerns about extra traffic and the implications for road safety, plus the potential impact of the new homes on their privacy.

The 37-home scheme comprises four one-bedroom flats, eight two-bedroom houses, five two-bedroom houses and 20 three-bedroom houses.

A statement issued by AJC said many local residents had expressed support for the proposal.

It added that a detailed report by highway consultants showed that neighbouring roads could accommodate the modest amount of traffic which would be generated by the scheme.

It also said the felling of trees would be limited to those that were nearing the end of their lifespan.

The statement added: “In respect of other concerns, the site already benefits from perimeter screening from mature trees and vegetation to most of its boundaries.

“However, there are gaps in several areas and screening is notably absent to the boundary with the rear gardens of Lime Close.”

The statement said there was an opportunity to fill the gaps with tree and hedgerow planting, which would create a green corridor around the site and provide “significant scope” for enhancing biodiversity.

It added: “This perimeter screening also ensures the site is, for the most part, visually self-contained.

“This will facilitate a higher density development that corresponds with the need for small and medium-sized dwellings while respecting local identity and offering opportunities to enhance the street scene.”

AJC says the scheme complies with local and national planning policies.