PLANNING chiefs have rejected the latest application to provide housing behind a Grade II-listed pub in the New Forest.

Bayview Homes was given consent to construct three properties on land adjoining the White Horse at Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, and later revived a previous proposal for four houses on the same site.

But the application to build two four-bedroom houses and a pair of three-bedroom properties has been refused by the district council.

A report to councillors conceded that the scheme would preserve the character and appearance of an adjoining conservation area as well as providing housing and making the best use of a redundant site.

But it added: "The proposal would result in an unacceptably cramped and congested form of development with a general lack of space around the buildings.

"Furthermore the provision of parking spaces to serve four properties would result in a significant proportion of the site dedicated to access and hard standing.

"This condensed form of development, in which four dwellings would be tightly grouped together, would appear harsh in its setting and and out of context with the general pattern of development.

"There would be limited opportunity for any meaningful new landscaping and tree planting to help soften the development."

Bayview's first application to build four houses on the site was rejected by the district council in July 2019.

A subsequent proposal for three homes was approved by the authority in December 2019.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Bayview later launched a second attempt to gain permission to build four houses behind the pub, which is currently vacant.

The proposal sparked four letters of objection and one of support.

One of the objectors said: "Milford is a lovely little village but it is losing its heart and community feel with too much building going on.

"I have instructed two estate agents to value my property as I am thinking

of selling up and leaving the place I thought would be my forever home, that I used to love."

Another added: " This is only one of two roads leading to Keyhaven and with more developments being built the accident risks are increasing."

Members of Milford on Sea Parish Council said they would be happy to accept the district council's decision.

In a letter to the authority they said: "The parish council welcomes the development of smaller properties in the village.

"However, it acknowledges the potential access and parking issues associated with this application."