A DEVELOPER has lost its latest attempt to gain planning permission for four houses behind a Grade II-listed building in the New Forest.

Bayview Developments lodged an appeal after twice being refused consent to build a quartet of homes near the former White Horse Inn at Milford on Sea.

But the appeal has been dismissed by a government-appointed planning inspector.

It comes just weeks after Stoneriver Projects was given permission to convert the vacant pub into two homes and build three properties in what was previously the beer garden.

Bayview's initial proposal to build four houses behind the White Horse was rejected by New Forest District Council in 2019 after sparking a flurry of objections.

A few months later the authority approved plans for three homes behind the pub, but Bayview submitted another proposal for four properties.

The application said the “high quality development” would enhance the character of the site.

It added: “The development seeks to replace a large detached four-bedroom house with a pair of semi-detached three-bedroom properties, with only a modest increase in the massing of built form on the site.

“The scheme will contribute positively to the local character and increase the standard of design locally.

“There are no unacceptable impacts arising from the proposals which override the public benefits of delivering additional housing in a sustainable location.”

But the council refused the application earlier this year, claiming it would create an unacceptably cramped, congested and intensive form of development.

Now a planning inspector has rejected Bayview's appeal, despite praising the design and several other aspects of the scheme.

The inspector said it would make good use of brownfield land by providing four houses in a sustainable location, and would not harm the character and appearance of the area.

But national planning guidelines suggest that applications should be refused if they will cause "significant harm" to local biodiversity.

Citing the absence of evidence that the proposal would not damage the integrity of protected species, the inspector said the adverse impact of the scheme would outweigh the benefits.