RESIDENTS of a rural lane beside a nature reserve have reacted with fury after learning a developer could build almost 150 homes nearby, claiming the identified site is contaminated with 'hazardous waste and human remains'.

Bosses at Gladman Developments Ltd have contacted the New Forest District Council about land off Snails Lane in Blashford, Ringwood.

Developers are interested in a plot of land some 11.20 hectares in size which is currently largely 'overgrown with mature vegetation', although some of the land is used as fields for horses.

However, residents of Snails Lane say there are "serious issues" with the proposals which should prevent any such development taking place.

The site lies to the north of the Headlands Business Park on the northern edge of Ringwood.

It is expected that developers plan to apply for outline planning permission for up to 143 houses, half of which will comprise affordable housing, as well as access roads from Snails Lane and the A338 Salisbury Road and public open space, including a 'suitable alternative natural greenspace' (SANG) and play facilities.

Although the site lies close to the Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve in Ellingham Drove, it is not located within a site of special scientific interest or a national park.

In a letter written by Anthony Heslehurst to the district council, the planner for Gladman says: "While the site is currently undeveloped, it is adjacent to the existing settlement of Ringwood, as well as immediately to the north of the business park.


"The proposal would not, therefore, introduce new or different types of environmental effects to the area."

One resident of Snails Lane said the road is a "private lane" which "belongs to the existing residents".

"Gladman has not approached the residents and certainly does not have their permission," he said.

"The land intended for the building floods. It also has potentially hazardous waste and reported human remains in it.

"There are also serious issues regarding ongoing access for the existing residents, as well as safety concerns for traffic travelling to and from the A338."

Others living in Snails Lane have written letters of objection to the council.

One said: "I am all too aware of the problem of vehicular access to and from the main road and the inherent danger of waiting on the main road to get into the lane from Ringwood.

"There are already considerable delays during rush hour."

Sandie Trapnell, who also has a home in the lane, criticised the council and the developers for the "shoddy and underhanded" way in which the proposals have so far been handled.

"Proposed development of this nature, and of this scale, is understandably of great concern to residents of the lane," she said.

"None of the residents have been directly consulted or communicated with."