HOARDINGS could soon be springing up on former green belt land which was at the centre of a major planning battle.

Pennyfarthing Homes has applied for consent to install a sign and flagpoles up to six metres high on a building site next to a primary school at Milford on Sea.

The company is asking New Forest District Council to grant it temporary advertising consent until June 2021.

Earlier this year controversial plans to build more than 40 homes on the site were given the go-ahead following a public inquiry.

Pennyfarthing lodged an appeal after its original application was rejected by the council, which had received more than 200 objections to the scheme.

New Forest Post:

Hampshire wildlife expert Chris Packham, who lives in the Forest, also spoke out against the proposal.

The 57-year-old Springwatch presenter said: “Every last space must be fought for because we are so close to the point of no return.

“It’s tempting to think that in the grand scheme of things some trees, bushes, bugs and birds in Milford don’t really matter, but this destruction is happening everywhere.”

An action group called School Lane and Manor Road (SLAM) was formed to fight Pennyfarthing's proposal to build 42 homes on farmland.

In November last year more than 100 placard-waving protesters marched through the village to highlight their opposition to the proposed development.

SLAM spokesperson Monica Murfitt said: “This development would concrete over large swathes of former green belt land, destroy much of its precious wildlife and do almost nothing to meet the need for affordable housing in Milford.”

The public inquiry was held at Lymington Town Hall in February.

The council claimed the percentage of affordable housing and low-cost market housing was too low.

But planning inspector Alex Hutson has approved the proposal, saying the applicant had shown the proposal would provide an “acceptable” level of affordable housing.