PLANS for the first phase of a housing development and a new roundabout on the A338 have attracted opposition from councillors and residents.

An extraordinary meeting was held by Fordingbridge Town Council’s planning committee on Thursday January 6 to discuss the Pennyfarthing Homes applications.

A “hybrid” planning application for land west of Burgate, Salisbury Street has been submitted seeking outline permission for a residential development, change of use of land to Alternative Natural Recreational Greenspace (ANRG), and a community hub, which could be for local food retail, other retail and community use.

A full planning application for the first phase of development of 111 homes, public open space and surface water attenuation is also included within the hybrid application.

The site is earmarked for development in New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) local plan, however Cllr Edward Hale said the proposal for the layout of the site had changed with part of it moved closer to the boundary of existing properties in Burgate. This, the meeting heard, was to address concerns over flooding.

There would be a mix of one, two, three, and four bedroom properties with apartments and also bungalows.

Councillor Hale said concerns had been raised over increased traffic, noise, lack of amenities for new residents, pollution, carbon footprint, loss of green space and flooding.

The district council’s conservation officer, the meeting heard, had raised concerns about the development’s proximity to properties in Burgate, which were echoed by councillors.

The masterplan for the outline application has capacity of up to 405 homes on the site, which forms part of the wider Strategic Site 18 in the Local Plan.

One resident said developments proposed in the town were “neither appropriate or proportionate to the size of Fordingbridge itself” and the new development needed to have zero energy and carbon neutrality in mind at the point of building.

She also feared areas like Whitsbury Road and Alexandra Road would be “inundated with huge amounts of traffic” which would make life “extremely difficult for current residents”.

Another resident felt the designs were “old fashioned” and “needed to go back to the drawing board with something that is fit-for-purpose and fit for the next 50 years” especially in light of COP26.

Cllr Diane Paton said there were still “unanswered questions” surrounding the application.

Proposing a motion to recommend the refusal of the application, Cllr Alan Lewendon said the area was “liable to flooding” and felt the arrangements to prevent this were not adequate and there would be a loss of ARNG, which he said would be “underwater for a large part of the year”. He said the movement of the site was “totally incorrect”.

Councillors also agreed to recommend the refusal of the application for the roundabout which would provide access to the land at Burgate.

Concerns highlighted included the impact on the National Park as a small section falls into it, light pollution, impact on the street scene of the area and nearby listed buildings as well as the size of the roundabout.

Cllr Diane Paton said: “The new road should be there before any of the houses are occupied and certainly, if nothing else there should be an access road just for a site access.”

“That road is top priority before any other development happen,” she added.

Fordingbridge Town Council is consulted on applications but the final decision on whether planning permission is granted is made by the planning authority.