WORRIED residents living close to sites earmarked for potential development in Christchurch have spoken of their shock.

Proposals, highlighting the preferred areas to build more than 1,000 new homes in the next 15 years have been revealed as part of Christchurch’s Local Plan.

The majority of the sites are in rural areas, in green belt land.

Areas in and around Burton could deliver 568 new dwellings based on the plan, while the former gasholders site in Bridge Street is also listed as a potential location.

Christchurch resident Tina Bardwell, speaking about the Stoney Lane and Bridge Street proposals for 213 new homes, said: “There just isn’t the space really, everything seems quite tightly packed in already.

“I understand people need homes but we should be looking to build on the outskirts rather than trying to jam tiny houses onto existing sites.”

Another resident said: “We simply don’t have the facilities for all these extra homes, we need better infrastructure built first.

“We shouldn’t be doing it the other way around.”

And a worker from the Avon Trading Park, where 15 homes are earmarked in the plan, said: “I cannot think of where they would be able to put them here.

“I mean, who would want to live on an industrial estate anyway? All seems a bit desperate to me.”

A Burton resident, speaking about plans to allocate homes on green belt land opposite his home, told the Echo: “I’d be vehemently against it, particularly as this area is already used as a ‘rat run’ to avoid the roundabout at the end.

“There is insufficient parking as it is for residents, as you can see by the double yellow lines.

“I like it here, I bought the house for that nice undisturbed view of green fields. I do not want a new estate directly opposite where I live.”

Meanwhile, a resident living close to a separate pocket of land near Burton, also earmarked in the local plan for housing, said: “I would be really upset if they did build, as I often walk the dogs up here and it is a lovely place to go without traffic.”

She added: “It is such a lovely area, we have lived here for 18 months.

“I love it here as it is and our kids love it as well.”