PLANS have been put forward for the development of land north of Merley for 650 homes.

Richborough Estates has submitted an environmental report to Poole council outlining its intention to request permission for the 90-acre development.

The firm, which promotes land across the country for house-building, has said that work could start as soon as next year.

Although the site was not originally a preferred option for Poole council during its local plan establishment process, it was allocated in a draft proposal approved by the council’s scrutiny committee last year.

Under plans submitted to the council, the land, south of the River Stour, could house a “new neighbourhood” of 650 homes plus a 60-bed care home and park areas.

A statement published with Richborough’s environment impact assessment scoping request says: “Richborough Estates intends to submit an outline planning application to the Borough of Poole for a new neighbourhood comprising up to 650 homes, a care home, allotments, public open space and associated infrastructure.

“Before submitting a planning application for the proposed development, Richborough will undertake an environmental impact assessment of its proposal.”

Through its report, the environmental effects of the scheme are examined and made available to the council through an environmental statement.

A public exhibition and “other means of achieving public engagement” will be hosted by Richborough before the application is submitted.

Should planning permission be granted, work is expected to start in 2019, lasting for seven years with the first new residents moving in in 2020.

Poole council’s local plan, which guides development across the borough, could be formally adopted before the end of the year, subject to a series of changes requested to the draft document by the government earlier this year being made.

The local plan will list Poole council’s preferred areas for development in order to meet its target of building 14,200 new homes by 2033.

Last week a planning application for 562 flats in West Quay Road, Poole – a site also allocated in the draft document – was submitted.