CONTROVERSIAL plans to build homes behind a Grade II-listed pub in a New Forest village have been thrown out.

Civic chiefs have rejected an application by Bayview Developments, which had sought consent to use land at the rear of the White Horse in Milford on Sea for housing.

Members of New Forest District Council went against the advice of planning officers and refused the proposal, which they described as “cramped”.

They also described plans to provide eight car parking spaces as insufficient.

Cllr David Hawkins told fellow members of the planning committee: “This reminds me of sardines. There’s no room to move and no room to park cars.”

The application had been opposed by Milford Parish Council and also sparked ten letters of objection and a 28-name petition from people living nearby.

Controversy centred on plans to build an access road off Grebe Close, which is currently a no-through-road.

Cllr Hawkins claimed that increasing the amount of traffic using the road would be “absolute madness” - a view echoed by former council chairman Maureen Holding.

Criticising the highways department at Hampshire County Council for supporting the application she said: “What would happen if there was a fire or an ambulance had to get through?

“Highways again and again bring things to us they say are OK and they’re not.”

Describing the access arrangements and the number of parking spaces as “ludicrous” parish councillor Sue Whitlock said: “It’s unbelievable highways can support increasing the amount of traffic.”

Planning consultant Adam Bennett, representing the applicant, said construction vehicles would use Keyhaven Road to reach the site.

He added that earlier plans for a bigger development were scaled back after Bayview had “engaged positively” with the council.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the company submitted an application to build four homes on land behind the pub, but critics claimed the proposed development would create extra traffic problems in the area.

Several Grebe Close residents wrote to the council to highlight their fears.

One woman said: “I wish to reiterate my concerns regarding the safety and security of my six-year-old son, his friends playing in the cul-de-sac and my elderly mother walking her dogs twice a day.

But councillors heard that the scheme would preserve the character and appearance of the area.