RESIDENTS’ concerns over plans for 145 homes in Fordingbridge are being ignored, say town councillors.

Fordingbridge Town Council held an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday, June 7 to discuss amendments to the proposed development in Whitsbury Road before it is put forward to planning chiefs at New Forest District Council (NFDC).

The development is being proposed by Pennyfarthing Homes and The Highwood Group Limited.

The meeting heard that Highways had called for provision of pedestrian ways and improved access as well as improvements to the cycle network. A contribution for highway improvements of £173,745 has been proposed. The meeting also heard affordable housing proposed for the development was only 20 per cent as 30 per cent were starter homes and not classed as affordable housing.

Planning chairman Rosemary Fulford said: “There have been a number of objections from residents and I think to sum that up it is exactly the way that many of us are feeling that we have put forward our concerns, talked about the issues – we don’t feel they have been recognised. That is very much the flavour of the recent comments that went online and certainly people that have spoken to me about it say ‘what’s the use we are just being ignored’.”

Cllr Paul Ansty said he was concerned about the response from Highways and that there were “still areas that need to be addressed” and data could not be presented to the town council. He also had concerns over the percentages of affordable housing.

Questions were also raised about who would be responsible for maintaining the suitable alternative natural greenspace (SANG) and the play area.

One resident said there had been “no substantive change” in the layout and no change in access provisions.

A member of the Fordingbridge Society said: “There are so many outstanding issues that should be considered. The council have already told them we don’t want it as it is. Why should Fordingbridge have a cheap alternative.

“It looks like something from 40 or 50 years ago – very old fashioned. Not what we want. It is a nice small town and they are going to put this carbuncle on the outside of it. Once they start that will just blossom into rubbish throughout the area.

“Keep going, keep fighting it all the time until we get something decent put up there for everybody not just for Pennyfarthing Homes.”

The town council recommended the application be refused. It previously objected to the application when it was discussed in March.

Cllr Fulford added: “We are recommending that the planning committee refuse this application because we have had no information, no response to the concerns we have expressed at the previous applications.”

The application will go to the district council to decide on whether to grant planning permission on a date to be fixed.