PLANS for more council homes in Townsend have sparked objections from residents who fear it could jeopardise recent improvements in the area.

Bournemouth council is proposing to build four houses on play area land at Cheshire Drive and five houses and a bungalow on land near properties in Jewell Road, Cheshire Drive and Wilkinson Drive.

It says the properties will help address the shortage of affordable housing in Bournemouth and reduce the council house waiting list.

But several residents have objected to the proposals, claiming they could increase existing parking problems and anti-social behaviour, and objecting to the loss of open space.

Anti-social behaviour on Townsend decreased by more than 27 per cent in one year following a concerted campaign to tackle bad behaviour and some residents fear removing areas for children to play and introducing more council tenants could put this improvement at risk.

Chartered town planning consultant James Cain, who has objected on behalf of four property owners, said the council had not assessed the social value of the open space adjacent to the Jewell Road, Cheshire Road and Wilkinson Drive properties, which is an “oasis within the built-up area”.

But Cllr Bob Lawton, cabinet member for housing, said: “There is a severe shortage of affordable housing in Bournemouth and we need to reduce the waiting time on the council housing register for family homes.

“This is a high priority for the council which has made a strong commitment to improve this position by building new high quality affordable homes. “These properties form part of the council’s programme to build 105 affordable homes by the end of March 2015 with grant funding from the Home and Communities Agency. “We need to go through the planning process, which gives the community an opportunity to scrutinise and comment on development proposals.”