PLANS to build 240 new homes near Fordingbridge have already sparked objections and concerns among residents over the impact on traffic, infrastructure and amenities.

An application seeking outline planning permission for the development on land to the north of Station Road has been submitted to New Forest District Council by Infinite Homes Ltd.

The plans also include a new access off Station Road to the site as well as 10.7 hectares of open space, off-street car parking and access roads. The site lies between Fordingbridge and Ashford.

So far there have been 40 objections online to the proposal with concerns including the traffic impact on Station Road and the town centre and the impact on doctors, dentists and schools as well as the safety of the Station Road access.

A planning statement submitted with the plans states that of the 240 homes, 40 per cent would be affordable housing - including ten dwellings for assisted living.

The breakdown says there would be 12 one-bed properties, 95 two-bed, 113 three-bed homes, 16 four-bed dwellings and four five-bed properties. These would be made up of a mix of flats and terraced and semi-detached and detached properties. All the properties will have front and rear gardens.

As well as land for open space there would be 5km of new footpath, cycleway and bridleway routes.

The planning statement said: “The new public open spaces will be criss-crossed by a network of joined up footpath, cycleways and bridleways. There will be an important new footpath/cycleway link along the Station Road frontage of the site to provide pedestrians and cyclists with the option of avoiding the need to use Station Road."

The proposed development would extend the settlement edge of Ashford towards Fordingbridge by approximately 250 metres to 300 metres, which the planning statement said would result in an “overall reduction in the gap between the settlements”.

But it added: “The impact of the perception of coalescence would be limited due to the lack of inter-visibility between Fordingbridge and the site, the retention and enhancement of the valley corridor and the design of the proposed development which seeks to create more informal, looser development parcels on the valley edge, helping achieve a transition between Ashford and the surrounding landscape.

"The proposed development has the potential to improve the visual appearance of the existing settlement edge of Ashford, which is currently defined by the back gardens along Ashford Close, creating a new residential edge that overlooks the valley landscape and is characterised by retained mature trees and open space.”

The statement said the site was “well located for no-car access” to a range of amenities in the town centre and the development proposals are “unlikely to result in any adverse traffic impacts” on the local highway network, adding: “Therefore, it is considered that there is no reason why the scheme should be resisted on transport grounds.”

The planning statement also said that “on balance” it was a “well-designed and sensitive” development, which would “significantly assist the delivery of much needed new housing in a district that is largely constrained by the National Park and other designations of National Importance”.

To view the application and submit comments click here (Reference 20/10522).