A CHARITY has been given planning permission to turn a Hampshire B&B into a home for "vulnerable" adults with mental health problems.

An application by Hammersley Homes to convert Little Hayes at Romsey Road, Lyndhurst, sparked 60 letters of objection from 46 households in the area.

But the proposal was approved at a meeting of the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

Louise Hallett, the charity's founder, said the scheme would provide "safety, security and friendship" for five people who struggled to cope with everyday tasks.

She said the residents would be carefully selected, with round-the-clock support provided by trained staff.

Daily Echo: Plans to turn the Little Hayes B&B into a home for adults with mental health problems have been approved.Plans to turn the Little Hayes B&B into a home for adults with mental health problems have been approved.

Objectors included the leader of New Forest District Council, Cllr Edward Heron.

In a letter to the NPA Cllr Heron said tourism facilities were vital to the local economy, adding: "Insufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate that the property's current use is unviable."

One of the other objectors, Lyndhurst resident Gill Jones, claimed the scheme would produce an increase in noise, traffic and general disruption.

But NPA member David Harrison said: "Mental illness is very common. Facilities like this are to be welcomed. They rarely cause any problems."

Ann Sevier added: "The New Forest is not just somewhere for people to come and have holidays."

Daily Echo: Little Hayes in Romsey Road, Lyndhurst.Little Hayes in Romsey Road, Lyndhurst.

A report to the committee said the five-bedroom guest house was "not currently operational".

It added: "Whilst the initial closure may be directly attributed to Covid restrictions, the trend during the last two years has been towards Airbnb accommodation rather than shared facilities.

"There are, for example, around 170 Airbnb units in Lyndhurst.

"In these circumstances, and given the small scale of the guest house, it is not considered that it would be possible to sustain an objection to the change of use.

"There is a significant level of objection to the proposal from local residents for a variety of reasons.

"It is not considered the proposed use would result in a greater level of traffic than the guest house. The residents are unlikely to have cars and the proposal would therefore result in a decrease in traffic movements."

The application was approved by seven votes to two.

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