IT had been just hours since they were told their tiny community would be swallowed up by a huge new housing development.

Liberal Democrat councillors voted through plans in the early hours of yesterday to allow hundreds of homes to be built on land next to picturesque Boorley Green, near Botley.

But in a move described as “disgusting” and “arrogant” by residents, campaigners for the party dropped leaflets through doors in the hamlet yesterday morning promising they would “protect green spaces”.

Lib Dem candidate Mike Thornton has repeatedly said he is committed to protecting countryside and the gaps between villages.

But Conservatives have dubbed that stance “hypocritical”, as he also backed the plans to build 1,400 homes on the golf course at Boorley Green.

Sue Grinham, who is a Boorley Green resident and chairs Botley Parish Action Group, said receiving the leaflets yesterday morning made her “see red”.

She added: “It’s like a slap in the face – they shouldn’t have sent this to us. It’s either that they’re negligent or just indifferent.

“I was furious – I ran out after the person that delivered it and said ‘Why are you putting this rubbish through my door?’. He said he was just a volunteer.”

A Lib Dem spokesman said he did not know if Boorley Green had been deliberately targeted with the leaflets yesterday, or if it was a coincidence.

He said: “The Lib Dems across Eastleigh have got a sustainable plan for protecting green spaces across the entire area.

“The plan to build on the golf course will provide badly-needed homes for the people of Eastleigh borough and their families while also protecting the green spaces in the borough.

“We deliver thousands of leaflets across the constituency and it’s one of our key policy platforms to protect the fields and countryside within Eastleigh borough.

“We recognise the depth of feeling and anger among the local residents but, looking at the borough as a whole, this is the best option.”