A CONSERVATION watchdog group has praised plans to replace a former Hampshire transport hub with a mews-style development.

Members of the influential Lymington Society have given their initial verdict on proposals to bulldoze Lymington bus station and replace it with two rows of terraced houses.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Landford Estates has submitted a multimillion-pound-plan to build nine homes and a shop.

It follows an unsuccessful attempt by another company, Ringwood-based Renaissance Retirement, to use the high-profile site for housing.

New Forest Post:

Renaissance applied for planning permission to build a retail unit and 17 sheltered flats for the elderly after the bus station closed to the public in 2015.

Two £10m proposals submitted by the company were rejected by New Forest District Council. Renaissance lodged appeals but both were dismissed following a public inquiry.

Now the Lymington Society has welcomed what it describes as “much-improved” proposals for the site.

Spokesman Don Mackenzie said: “The Society’s preference would have been for a mixed development of retail/commercial and residential uses, like the very successful Angel Courtyard development behind the Angel Hotel.

“However we accept that in the current retail climate, and with no through traffic of pedestrians, that is unlikely to be economic.

“We were very pleased to have played our part in helping to overturn the very unsuitable plans for retirement flats on the site, which the developers unsuccessfully took to appeal last year.

“We are generally in favour of the Landford Estates scheme, which is a huge improvement on the previous plans.

“The development has the feel of an attractive mews-style of development and has a traditional style which sits much more comfortably with the many listed buildings around.

“The feeling of a narrow lane between the two rows of houses respects the previous burgage plots which formed the medieval layout of the original town.”

New Forest Post:

Dr Mackenzie said Landford Estates was a local developer which had built nearby Angel Courtyard and appeared to have tried hard to create a sympathetic scheme for the bus station site.

He added: “Before making a final decision on whether to fully support this scheme, we will await the views of the council’s conservation officer, local councillors and neighbours to the site.

"But our initial feeling is that this scheme is one that will form the basis for an appropriate and attractive development that will enhance this important site.”