A PLANNING application submitted by Totton and Eling Town Council is being opposed by some of its own members.

Civic chiefs want to save the listed buildings at historic Hanger Farm - said to be one of the oldest sites in the area.

The authority is seeking planning permission to use part of the site for housing and convert an old barn into a theatre.

But the planning and transport advisory committee is recommending tonight's meeting of the full council to lodge an objection to its own application.

The committee criticised plans to turn the farmhouse - a medieval building with a Georgian exterior - into two high-quality homes.

Councillor Edith Randall said the house was two buildings, one inside the other, and claimed that aspect of the property would disappear if the conversion went ahead.

She added: "This application amounts to inappropriate treatment of a listed building because it removes the main architectural feature of the house."

Mrs Randall also criticised part of the proposal to turn the 17th century barn into a theatre.

She said: "It's going to have permanent seating, which means it can't be used for anything that requires a large area of floor space."

Plans to use part of the site for residential development were criticised by the committee chairman, Councillor George Dart.

"I'm very conscious of the historical importance of Hanger Farm, and I'm not mad about proposals to include housing in the application," he said.

The committee decided to oppose the scheme, largely as a result of the concerns expressed by Mrs Randall.

But town clerk Derek Biggs said the committee might not have had all the information it needed.

He added: "I'm having further discussions with the architects and hope to reassure councillors that what's being proposed is a sensitive scheme."

The application will be determined by New Forest District Council.