PLANNING chiefs have given the green light to demolish buildings at Swanage's Prospect Farm and construct 20 homes in their place.

The site, a 0.72 hectare plot on farmland north of Victoria Avenue, has been identified in the Swanage Local Plan for possible housing.

Adopted in June this year, the Swanage Local Plan forms part of the wider Purbeck Local Plan, a document setting out preferred future development sites within the district.

Proposals for Prospect Farm - lodged by Bayview Developments South Ltd - are for 20 new homes comprising 13 detached houses, two semi-detached and a block of five flats.

Seven of these properties, a one bedroomed flat, four two-bedroomed flats and the two semi-detached houses, will be affordable homes.

A report to Purbeck District Council's PDC) planning committee, from planning case officer Anna Lee, recommended councillors approve the scheme. However, some minor concerns were raised by neighbours.

Douglas and Valerie Pike, of Prospect Crescent, asked for no hedges to be planted between the site and their own boundary fence.

Meanwhile, Prospect Crescent residents David and Judith Gerry voiced concerns about maintenance of any hedging. They also said: "The list of species suggested for hedging purposes includes Blackthorn which we feel is inappropriate, as it runs underground vigorously and is difficult to control in the new urban development."

Other neighbour comments included concerns about bats living in the old farm buildings set for demolition and increased traffic.

As the site is within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), PDC's AONB landscape planning officer reviewed the scheme.

In planning documents produced for councillors, the officer commented: "Overall it is my opinion that the development will not result in significant adverse landscape and visual effects on the AONB.

"Overall, it will not impinge or lead to a reduction of the landscape pattern and rural nature of the wider landscape character."