AN appeal has been lodged over a plan to build 33 retirement apartments in Ringwood.

The plan by McCarthy & Stone has already been rejected by planners and at a previous appeal once. And a revised plan attempting to address the concerns of neighbours over the scale of the development, was also turned down, despite winning the backing of district council planning officers.

Now the company, which is based in Ringwood, is hoping the scheme, which has been reduced from 39 apartments, will now be backed by a planning inspector.

Ringwood Town Council has recommended refusal, saying although the revised plan is an improvement on the previous scheme, it is still “overbearing” and “dominant”.

Councillors felt the height of the roof should be reduced and there should be even fewer apartments.

The district council did receive ten letters of support from people interested in living at the scheme, but neighbours still say it is too big and cramped and raised concerns over additional traffic, especially near the schools, lack of parking, loss of privacy for neighbouring properties, noise and adverse impact on property values.

The site currently contains five detached homes and sits between Ringwood School and Carvers recreation ground, the bowling club and other homes.

McCarthy & Stone has told the council it would not be commercially viable to provide 40 per cent affordable housing in the £4.2million scheme, as expected in new developments, or for it to pay a contribution of £201,036, which would be expected if no affordable housing is provided. The company has offered £20,000, which has been accepted.

A planning officer told councillors: “The council’s estates and valuation team have accepted the applicant’s viability appraisal, and on this basis it is felt that it would be appropriate to accept the applicant’s offer in respect of affordable housing.”

The officer added: “Overall, it is felt that this proposed development is a well-considered proposal that satisfactorily addressed the main objections to the previously refused proposals.”

Councillors rejected the scheme in December.

The appeal will be decided by a planning insepctor at a date yet to be confirmed.