BULLDOZING countryside to build thousands of new homes would bring traffic chaos to Andover, claim residents objecting to major developments proposed in the area.

The residents have raised concerns at the Test Valley Borough Local Plan Inquiry about cars from the Picket

Twenty or Icknield Way developments flooding into Andover during rush hour. They fear the outlying location of the homes will cause tailbacks at the Enham Arch with commuters trying to reach the A303 at the same time.

"Over 1,000 cars will be trying to get out at 8am and reach the A303. Surely it makes more sense for all these homes to be built closer to the road?" said one of the residents, Lt Col Budge.

Steve Lees, planning policy manager at the council, said the town is unlikely to be overrun with traffic trying to get to the main commuter routes because the 2001 Census revealed that 69 to 71 per cent of people both live and work in the town. "Andover is probably one of the most self-contained towns in the south east of England," he said.

Another resident, Michael Dawson, questioned the council's choice of greenfield sites for the proposed developments instead of brownfield sites.

"We think the council should consider brownfield sites before it starts churning up our beloved countryside We believe this warrants grounds for intervention by the Secretary of State," he said.

For the full story see Friday's Andover Advertiser