OWNERS of a popular Hampshire pub have lost their battle to provide overnight accommodation.

Debbie and Duane Lewis lodged an appeal after planning chiefs rejected their application to convert a former skittle alley at the Bold Forester in Beaulieu Road, Marchwood, into four lodges.

But government-appointed planning inspector Hollie Nicholls has upheld the decision and dismissed the appeal.

The original application was turned down by New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) in April last year.

A report to members said each of the lodges would comprise a bedroom/lounge area. Part of the car park behind the pub would be enclosed to provide outdoor seating areas for the occupants.

The report said the proposed change of use would result in “limited economic benefit” to the local community.

It added: “The additional activity associated with the use of the four units by holidaymakers, with the potential for noise and light pollution and the likelihood of additional traffic movements outside normal public house hours, would have an adverse impact.”

The application produced only one letter of objection and was supported by Denny Lodge Parish Council.

Outlining her reasons for rejecting the appeal Ms Nicholls said: "The proposal would introduce additional tourism accommodation and of a type not supportable within the New Forest National Park.

"The proposal would generate economic benefits, not only for the business but more widely, including the creation of additional employment opportunities."

Mr and Mrs Lewis said the proposed development would help offset the impact of the pandemic and better future-proof the business as a local community facility.

Ms Nicholls said: "Whilst I give moderate weight to these considerations, their materiality is not so great that they outweigh the identified harm."