A DEVELOPER is at the centre of a new row over missing facilities at a showpiece housing development on the Hampshire coastline.

Redrow Homes has asked planning chiefs to waive a condition that requires it to provide a restaurant, an art gallery and several shops at the luxury Lymington Shores site.

The company has cited a lack of interest in the empty spaces, which it wants to fill with nine flats.

But Redrow has come under fire from the Lymington Society, which has accused the developer of trying to "walk away" from its commitments.

Spokesman Donald Mackenzie acknowledged the difficulties caused by the pandemic but added: "There's every sign that the commercial life of the country is coming back to life.

“The society does not accept that these units could not find some appropriate use which would benefit the community by being retained for some commercial use or by involving community organisations which would benefit from being able to use these premises.”

As reported in the Daily Echo, Redrow is also supposed to have a built a £1m footbridge over the railway line that separates Lymington Shores from the town centre.

Dr Mackenzie said: "Having secured an extremely valuable planning permission on the basis the community would gain an attractive destination area the company now wishes to walk away from all these commitments."

But Redrow as defended its actions.

Referring to its latest move a company spokesman said: "These non-residential units have been marketed for a considerable period of time without any credible interest.

“Following the Covid-19 pandemic we do not see this situation changing and consider that an application to convert these units to new homes is the most appropriate way forward to bring about the completion of the overall development.”

Planning permission for the 168-home development was granted by New Forest District Council in 2012 - but the authority imposed a raft of conditions.

Over the years Redrow has repeatedly been accused of failing to fulfil its obligations.

Lymington county councillor Barry Dunning, a former town mayor, has claimed that Redrow's reputation will be "tarnished" locally if the footbridge is not built.

In a statement issued earlier this year Redrow said: "Since 2015 we have been trying to get the green light to start work on the footbridge, actively working with partners including NFDC, Hampshire County Council, Network Rail and South Western Railway.

"Unfortunately despite our best efforts we have not been able to reach a resolution with all parties in order to construct the footbridge.

“We submitted a revised application which requires the need for the footbridge to be reconsidered and our obligations to be met through a package of alternative highway improvement works."