PLANS to build more than 60 homes on a greenfield site in a New Forest town look set to be approved this week.

Councillors are being recommended to approve an application relating to Burgate Acres, Fordingbridge, following major alterations to the original proposal.

An initial application to build 74 properties on the site sparked more than 50 objections.

A report to the district council's planning committee, which meets on Wednesday, says the revised scheme, which comprises 63 homes, has sparked only five protests.

The report says "significant" alterations to the layout of the proposed development have enhanced the scheme.

These include a reduction in the number of homes near Fordingbridge Day Nursery, an increase in the amount of public space, and improvements in the layout and design."

The report admits the scheme would "dramatically alter" the appearance of the area, adding that the loss of Burgate Acres "is to be regretted".

But it says objections to the previous proposal have been overcome sufficiently to enable council officers to recommend approval.

It adds: "Issues remain regarding the impact of phosphates and the adverse impact on European protected sites and species, but it is anticipated that these can be resolved over the next few months.

"The proposal, as amended, is now considered to be generally in line with Local Plan policy and national guidance.

"It creates an attractive scheme releasing much needed housing including affordable housing, and other public benefits."

Metis Homes staged a public consultation in the summer of 2019.

Speaking at the time Adam O'Brien, the company's managing director, said: "We believe our proposals will sympathetically deliver much-needed new homes, including family housing and smaller homes, on a site which has been earmarked for development by the council."

Fordingbridge town councillors met last month and agreed to support the latest proposals.

Cllr Paul Anstey said the scheme had undergone a “considerable" number of amendments, including a reduction in the number of houses, since the first application was submitted in February last year.

Members heard that more than 20% of the properties would be affordable.

The site includes land sold to Metis Homes by The Burgate School, which occupies neighbouring land.

The academy had 21 acres of open space, which trustees said was more than the school needed. The sale was approved by the Department for Education.