CAMPAIGNERS are fighting plans to build almost 50 homes on former green belt land in the New Forest National Park.

Hurst and Hurst Estates Ltd has sparked anger by submitting proposals for dozens of two and three-bedroom properties at Church Lane, Sway.

The applicant says half the homes will be affordable - but the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) has received more than 40 objections to the proposal.

Protesters include Sway Parish Council, which has criticised what it describes as "suburban designs from a bygone era".

Members are calling for the plans to be withdrawn and replaced by a revised scheme that meets the needs of the village.

In a letter to the NPA it says: "Sway Parish Council supports the proposal to provide housing. However, the current application appears to have been ill thought out."

Councillors claim the site should be used to provide "far smaller" homes than the ones proposed.

Their letter adds: "The designs are suburban in nature and do not reflect or respect the New Forest National Park setting of Sway."

People living near the site have raised several concerns in letters to the NPA.

One resident says: "Let us show we can have a nice development in our village and put in just 38 [homes] or at least no more than 40."

Another objector adds: "So called 'affordable' housing for young families or key workers will be out of reach of those living in the area.

"More consideration needs to be given to the impact of this development on Church Lane. The increase in traffic will make it dangerous for both pedestrians and road users."

If planning permission is granted a square-shaped piece of agricultural land will be used to provide 43 three-bedroom homes and three two-bedroom properties.

A large area of public open space and 92 parking spaces are also proposed.

The application says: "All properties are provided with generous private garden spaces to the rear, and to the front where possible, to soften the presentation of the dwellings.

"The benefits of the proposal include the significant area of green space and the policy-compliant proportion of affordable housing."