PLANS for nearly 200 new homes have been given the green light, despite more than 150 objections.

The proposal, for land north of Station Road in Fordingbridge, was approved at a meeting of the New Forest District Council.

Cala Homes (Thames) will build 198 homes, 42 of which will be affordable, consisting of one, two, three and four-bedroom properties.

More than 50 per cent of the site will be public open space, totalling 9.8 hectares, including natural play trails, playgrounds and games areas.

Each home will be fitted with solar panels and electric vehicle charging points.

Daily Echo: Watercolour of the approved plans in Fordingbridge.

Prior to the meeting, the plans were recommended to be granted by councillors, with conditions.

A consultation on the scheme received 160 public comments, of which 157 were objections.

These included concerns over traffic along Fordingbridge high street, pressure on infrastructure and an overload on local services, such as GPs.

Other respondents highlighted the impact on wildlife and the surrounding environment due to overdevelopment, and a loss of privacy.

However, there were no objections from statutory consultees.

Developers said the scheme would see improvements to surrounding roads and an investment of more than £1m towards education.

Cala also said the development would create 102 construction jobs over a three-year period.

John Richards, land and planning director at Cala, said: “It’s really pleasing news that New Forest District Council has approved our application.

“The approval means we can now realise our plans to create a green and sustainable new neighbourhood which will address local housing need by providing a range of fantastic homes available through both private sale and affordable means.

“As we bring forward our development, we will ensure we make a positive contribution to wildlife habitats and green space on the site through a range of measures, resulting in a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain. Included in these measures will be our Urban Wildlife Strategy.

“We’re also committed to making sure our development delivers genuine social value for the wider community through our community pledge and look forward to working in partnership with community groups and organisations across Ashford and Fordingbridge and the surrounding areas as part of this.”