WORK has started on a new Purbeck housing development which prompted more than 130 objections when it was given the green light last year.

Barratt Homes has commenced construction on its Compass Point development, off Northbrook Road in Swanage.

When finished, the 8.41 hectare development will boast 90 new homes, a mix of two, three and four-bedroomed properties.

Michelle Storer, sales director at Barratt Homes, said: "We’re very excited that work is now underway at Compass Point.

"To us this is much more than a collection of homes, it is a community, and our teams are working hard to bring it to life.

"Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing it take shape over the coming months."

Meanwhile, a statement released by Barratt Homes explained: "While prices will not be released until the launch, it’s expected that many of the homes will be available to purchase under the government’s help to buy scheme."

Purbeck District Council's (PDC) planning committee backed the proposals in December 2018, following a visit to the site.

A report from PDC case officer Andrew Collins, which went before the committee before they debated the issue, recommended granting permission for the scheme.

Mr Collins' report detailed how developers wanted to construct six one-bedroomed homes, 32 two-bedroomed homes, 39 three-bedroomed homes and 13 four-bedroomed homes.

Of these, 45 would be sold on the open market, with 45 designated as 'affordable'.

The site, which has no previous planning history, is comprised of agricultural fields or parts of fields adjacent to the former grammar school campus.

Swanage Town Council offered no objection in principle to development of the area for new homes, but did raise concerns over road safety.

The proposals prompted 132 objections from neighbours, residents and the local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Key worries raised included the lack of a bus route, the potentially adverse impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and possible traffic congestion.

Residents also aired concerns about the impact of the new homes on existing services in Swanage and the surrounding area.

In his report, Mr Collins said: "The proposal is part of the wider local plan housing provision for the district.

"As such, during the local plan process, statutory undertakers such as the health providers and social services were informed of the proposals and therefore made aware of the increased housing numbers and population.

"Additionally the council has adopted a charging scheduled under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

"CIL funds raised from new development make a contribution to district-wide infrastructure."

Barratt Homes is now working to lay roads and infrastructure at the site.

The construction of building foundations follows.