A DEVELOPER has been ordered to remove a 200 metre stretch of hoarding along a wooded area of Christchurch following mass objections from residents.

The green 2.4m high panels that block off a section of land at Jesmond Avenue, Highcliffe, were put in place two years ago without planning permission.

A retrospective application from Brentland Ltd sought permission to retain the hoardings.

However, it has been rejected by Christchurch Borough Council’s planning department.

This setback comes just months after a planning application, also from Brentland Ltd, for up to 35 homes and a 68-bed care home on the land enclosed by the hoardings was thrown out by the council.

While the housing scheme was labelled as “ill-conceived” with almost 200 objections from residents, the proposals to maintain the barrier attracted 81 negative responses, including from a residents’ group.

The objections cited a number of concerns including impact on local townscape and landscape, protected trees, biodiversity and flood risk.

A response to the application from Highcliffe Residents Association, written on behalf of 100 residents who attended a recent meeting, said: “The structure is overbearing in scale and dominates the landscape. It is spoiling the visual amenity of the area. It is interfering with the migration and free passage of wildlife.

“It was erected illegally and is no longer required for its original purpose – to protect the public from working machinery.”

A Christchurch Borough Council planning officer said there was “no robust evidence” for many objectors’ perceived view that the hoarding had a harmful impact on biodiversity and the green corridor of which the site is part of.

However, the officer’s report also says: “The proposal has not sufficiently addressed the issue of flood risk given that the application site is located in areas of surface water and fluvial flood risk.

“The proposal would clearly have a deleterious impact on the visual amenity and character of the local area.”

In 2016, an application to erect a temporary 2.4m hoarding to enclose the proposed residents was submitted and subsequently withdrawn by Brentland Ltd.