PLANS for a major housing development at the entrance to an upmarket Hampshire town are likely to be rejected next week.

Members of New Forest District Council (NFDC) are being recommended to refuse the latest multi-million-pound proposal to redevelop land at Stanford Hill in Lymington.

An application to build 45 retirement apartments for people aged 60 and over was turned down last year.

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Pegasus Planning Group went back to the drawing board and submitted a revised scheme which aims to overcome the objections - but the new proposal has also proved controversial.

Stanford Hill, the western gateway to Lymington, is home to several historic buildings.

Lymington and Pennington Town Council has lodged an objection to the latest scheme, claiming it would have an "over-dominant" impact on the area.

It also says the proposed development fails to address the need for affordable housing in the district.

More than 20 members of the public are also urging the district council to reject the application. They say it would create extra traffic problems in the area and claim Lymington is already "saturated" with housing for older residents.

A report by NFDC planning officers says some of the reasons for refusing the earlier application have been overcome.

But it adds: "There are objections based on design, scale, mass and location of the building, together with its impact on dedicated heritage assets and two adjoining properties."

New Forest Post:

Councillors could decide to go against the officers' recommendation and approve the application.

If the scheme goes ahead Pegasus will replace four existing homes with a three and four-storey block containing 44 self-contained apartments.

Alterations to the previous proposal include an improved access, extra parking and a reduction in the height of part of the complex.

The application says: “The emerging Local Plan acknowledges that the population of the plan area is ageing and living longer, with the number of people aged 75 and over projected to increase by 65% (12,800) in the plan period.

“There is an extensive demand for specialised older people’s accommodation.”

Speaking earlier this year a Pegasus spokesman said: "Shortly before we submitted our revised plans the council’s cabinet approved the latest planning blueprint for the area, which highlights a significant need for specialist older people’s accommodation.

"Our amended application gives the council another chance to see an element of this much-needed accommodation secured for the future."