A DEVELOPER has submitted plans to build almost 170 homes on the edge of a Hampshire town - half of which will be classed as affordable.

Pennyfarthing Homes is seeking consent to redevelop an area of arable land at Brockhills Lane, New Milton, which is next to a nature reserve.

Pennyfarthing says the scheme will provide much-needed new housing and a significant amount of public open space.

But several New Milton residents have already sent strongly-worded letters of objection to New Forest District Council, which will decide the application.

Mike Tambling, of Woodside Lane, describes the proposal as “totally ill thought” and “utterly selfish” towards people living in the area.

He adds: “The size of the development is way too big and there is simply not enough infrastructure in the area to take such a large amount of people.”

Andrew Williams, of Oakwood Avenue, calls the application “nothing more than a disaster”.

Darren Angel, of Ashley Common Road, adds: “How you can cram so many houses on to a plot is beyond me.

“The site was originally green belt and a lot of wildlife including deer and bats still use this area. Please reject this and make it green belt again before all the countryside disappears.”

The land is earmarked for residential development in the council’s new Local Plan, which was approved last summer.

A Pennyfarthing spokesperson said: “Our project team have been working hard over the course of several years to get our plans for Brockhills Lane right.

“These efforts have resulted in what we believe are the best possible proposals for this site, taking a wide range of aspects into consideration and incorporating feedback from the council, statutory consultees and the local community.

“There is a real opportunity here to deliver an attractive, high-quality development in a location the council has allocated in the adopted Local Plan.

“We thank everyone who has contributed to bringing these exciting plans forward which will help local people, from starters to young families to downsizers, to find a suitable place to live.”

Pennyfarthing says the 169-home scheme features a “meandering” village layout which will give the new neighbourhood a rural feel.

It says also says traffic surveys have shown that the proposed development will not have a significant impact on the local road network.