CAMPAIGNERS are fighting proposals to build at least 100 homes beside a Hampshire hospice renowned for its peace and tranquility.

Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington is next to a site deemed suitable for residential development under new plans drawn up by New Forest District Council (NFDC).

All local authorities are under pressure from the government to ease the housing shortage by identifying sites where homes could be built.

NFDC says its draft Local Plan has to deliver a total of 10,500 properties outside the national park by 2036.

But critics claim a new estate on farmland off Lower Pennington Lane would have an adverse impact on the hospice and its terminally-ill patients. The site in question is thought to measure about 20 acres.

Last night Oakhaven said it had “serious concerns” about the plan, including the prospect of extra traffic on narrow country lanes surrounding the complex.

A spokesman said: “The drive that accesses our in-patient unit is planned to be one of the three access points for the new estate. This would have significant implications for parking and general safety.

“Residential development is planned right up to our eastern and northern boundary, which could mean significant intrusion.

“Oakhaven is a ‘haven’ for our patients, who are often in the last days or weeks of their lives. The plan would forever disrupt that peace and tranquillity.”

Oakhaven’s chief executive, Andrew Ryde, added: “Oakhaven recognises the need for housing within our area but we question whether this proposal has been properly considered.

“Oakhaven is a community asset providing care for people at their time of greatest need. It’s essential that we’re able to protect the tranquillity and privacy that makes it such a special place.”

An action group, the Pennington and Lymington Lanes Society (PALLS), has been set up to fight the proposal.

This week about 80 people joined a protest march and voiced their anger at plans to build homes between two country lanes leading to the Solent.

PALLS chairman Bruce Tindall said: “It beggars belief that the district council is seriously pursuing a plan to place at least 100 houses in such a sensitive area.”

The NFDC says any development must respect Oakhaven’s privacy, security and tranquility.

Those wishing to comment on proposals in the Local Plan must do so by midnight on August 12.