A STORM is brewing over plans to build more than 170 homes on green belt land on the edge of the New Forest.

Pennyfarthing Homes has unveiled proposals to provide what it describes as "much-needed" properties, half of which would be affordable, on a tree-lined site off Brockhills Lane in New Milton.

The company was due to stage a public exhibition at New Milton Community Centre on March 23 but the event has been postponed following the coronavirus outbreak.

A Pennyfarthing spokesperson said: "The plans comprise an appropriate mix of house sizes and tenures, reflecting what is needed in the area, as well as extensive open greenspace.

“The New Forest is a fantastic place to live and work. We hope to bring forward an attractive, high quality development that will provide much-needed housing for local people.

“Community feedback will be really valuable in helping us to shape our plans and we are keen to hear what local residents think."

New Forest Post:

Several people have already taken to social media to voice their anger and dismay at the potential loss of green belt land.

One man said: "I moved away from the edge of London with my wife over ten years ago to get away from traffic and built-up areas.

"Now I'm not saying this will be anywhere near as busy but I for one don't want this built, affordable or not. Keep the countryside as it is.

"People have moved to New Milton and others have stayed here all their lives because they like it as it is.

"If these new homes need to be built, build them somewhere that's already built up, then they'll just blend in and the road network will already be mostly set up."

Another person posted: "There's always lot of wildlife in those fields, including deer.This is a huge shame."

Other social media users referred to a controversial housing scheme being built by Pennyfarthing on land between Lymington Road and School Lane at Milford on Sea.

The company's application to construct 42 properties on the site was rejected by New Forest District Council, which criticised the lack of affordable housing, after sparking more than 200 objections.

But Pennyfarthing lodged an appeal and the council's decision was quashed following a public inquiry.

A statement on the company's website confirms that the exhibition of its proposals for the land off Brockhills Lane has been postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

It adds: "We hope to reschedule the event later this spring."