A HOME builder has bought land in the New Forest for a housing development.

Cala Homes (Thames) has completed the unconditional purchase of a 17.4-hectare site in Ashford, Fordingbridge.

The site used to be agricultural land.

The new development will include up to 220 one to five-bedroom homes, including affordable homes.

The site is an allocated residential site within the 2016-2036 New Forest Local Plan.

The company will make provision for wildlife as part of the Cala Thames’ Urban Wildlife Strategy, protecting species such as swifts, bats, bees and hedgehogs.

Measures will include bird nesting features, specialist hedgehog fencing, bat boxes or bat roosting tiles, and native tree planting.

Cala is also working with The Bee Mission project across the development, which helps build and maintain beehives across Hampshire and Dorset.

READ MORE: What we know so far on fatal fire in Burley, New Forest

The company is providing opportunities for homeless people in the regions by getting them involved with the construction and installation of beehives.

The scheme will also deliver more community benefits, including large public open spaces such as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG), providing the public with an alternative outdoor space away from Special Protection Areas (land designated to protect rare, vulnerable, and migratory birds).

Freddie Webber, land director at Cala Homes (Thames), said: “Cala already has a strong presence across Hampshire, with the Fordingbridge site complementing our existing wider portfolio in Winchester, Wimborne, and Alton.

"We are looking forward to working closely with the council and local stakeholders to deliver this exceptional site, including high-quality private and affordable homes in the coming months.

"We remain keen to build on this success and are actively looking for similar high-quality investment opportunities in Hampshire, Dorset, Salisbury, Surrey, and Hampshire.”

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