A CONTROVERSIAL scheme that is set to create up to 200 jobs in the New Forest has been approved.

Plans to increase the size of Gordleton Industrial Park by a third have been given the go-ahead, despite strong local opposition. New units will be built on a greenfield site next to the existing Gordleton facility in Pennington.

The application had been opposed by Lymington and Pennington Council, the Lymington Society and the New Forest National Park Authority.

Locals warned the district council’s planning committee that extra HGVs using narrow country lanes would result in more accidents.

One member of the committee, Lymington councillor Tony Swain, sided with the objectors.

He said: “The plan is to increase the size of Gordleton Industrial Park by a third and I really question the need for this.”

He added: “Virtually all the residents on Sway Road have objected and I think we should take their views into account before we embark on such a major development.”

But Tony Sellwood, representing the applicant, Gordleton Family Trust, said the scheme would create 150-200 jobs.

He cited the shortage of employment land in the Lymington and New Milton area and said the expansion of the industrial park would “fill the gap”. Mr Sellwood added that the number of HGVs using Sway Road would increase by no more than 10 per cent.

The council’s employment and tourism manager, Anthony Climpson, also supported the application.