PLANS have been lodged to carry out an extension to a major New Forest recycling hub.

New Milton Sand and Ballast have submitted proposals to New Forest District Council for the site in Milford Road, Pennington.

If approved, a field will be converted into a large area of hardstanding for the firm to improve its operation.

The land would be used for 25 to 30 car parking spaces and storage for up to 30 HGVs and approximately 75 to 100 skips, with a new access in and out on to the shared private access road.

The application is for a temporary extension lasting 10 years, with it returning to grassland after this period.

New Milton Sand and Ballast say the extension will allow them to move the storage of 30 HGVs from their site in Caird Avenue, New Milton to Pennington, reducing traffic movements between the two locations.

Other benefits, according to the applicants, include improved efficiency and safety.

The family-owned firm has operated since 1936 and works across the Hampshire and East Dorset area.

A statement submitted in support of the application says: “The extension will be used for parking and storage purposes and by reorganising existing site activities at Pennington and Caird Avenue will result in fewer HGV vehicle movements and will provide more room for permitted operations and site circulation thus improving site safety and efficiency.

“For example, it will result in an improved, clearer recycling area at Pennington, with more operational space for vehicles to manoeuvre and discharge and collect loads avoiding conflicting vehicle movements and minimising the need for reversing and allowing better segregation of vehicles and pedestrians (operatives).

“Also, it will enable the improved separation and segregation of the permitted waste types for recycling.”

It adds: “The benefits served by the development, which the council have already accepted exist and remain relevant to this proposal, clearly outweigh any temporary harm.”