PLANNERS ruled that a detached house in a village near Winchester can be demolished and replaced with four homes.

The proposal to bulldoze Martins Close in Compton had drawn criticism from some residents.

Around a dozen wrote to Winchester City Council's planning committee, urging them to block the move.

Council officers advised that it should go ahead, arguing that there were no "robust" reasons to turn it down.

They added that Martins Close was of little architectural value, and the new homes would not damage Compton's character.

A different view was taken by Compton and Shawford Parish Council and Compton Village Association.

Parish council vice chairman Adrian Walmsley urged the committee to reject the plans.

He said Compton Street could not cope with extra traffic, especially as there were no pavements near Martins Close.

He added that several previous applications in Compton had been refused on road safety grounds.

Scot Masker, agent for developers Andbury Properties Limited, said the scheme - comprising two large detached houses and a pair of smaller semi-detached ones - would enhance Compton's conservation area.

Mr Masker said: "We are sure that you can agree this will be an extremely high quality development," he added.

The majority of members took a similar view, and approved the scheme by nine votes to one.