PLANNING chiefs are being urged to reject proposals for a major housing development in the centre of a Hampshire town.

Renaissance Retirement has responded to initial criticism of the scheme by cutting the number of flats it aims to build at Stanford Hill, Lymington, from 50 to 45.

But town councillors have described the proposed development as "overbearing" and are advising New Forest District Council to refuse the application.

Renaissance wants to demolish four homes on the eastern side of Stanford Hill, just south of its junction with Highfield, and replace it with a three-storey block of apartments.

But Lymington and Pennington Town Council claims the proposed development is too dense.

The multi-million-pound scheme has also come under fire from the influential Lymington Society, which said it would harm one of the town's tree-lined green arteries.

A Renaissance spokesman said: “We're of the view that the design is right for the site’s location and our scheme responds well to the street scene.

“When it comes to density, national planning guidelines encourage schemes like the one we’re proposing when they’re on sustainable sites.

"It’s also worth noting that if planning permission is granted we’ll be making a Community Infrastructure Levy contribution, which will go towards funding wider local infrastructure improvements."

The spokesman also responded to claims that Lymington needs more housing for young people.

He added: "As for affordable and starter homes, we fully recognise the need that exists for these kinds of properties locally.

"However, our proposals also seek to help meet a specific housing need that New Forest District Council has identified and which are supported by existing and emerging local plan policy.”