CIVIC chiefs are refusing to allow a developer to scrap plans for a £1m footbridge serving a luxury housing development on the Hampshire coast.

The provision of a bridge linking Lymington Shores to the town centre was one of the conditions imposed when the development was approved almost ten years ago.

Redrow recently launched an attempt to have the condition lifted - but its application has been rejected by the district council.

Lymington Shores is separated from the town centre by the Lymington to Brockenhurst railway line.

Permission for 168 waterside properties was granted in 2012 and a separate application to build a footbridge at Lymington Town station was approved in 2018.

A report to councillors said: "The council has long regarded the provision of a footbridge over the railway line as a necessary part of the development.

"The footbridge is considered fundamental to the overarching objectives of making a positive, social, economic and environmental contribution to the community and achieving a sustainable development.

"It is the council's conclusion that the applicant's proposed revisions to the planning obligation are unacceptable."

But Redrow intends to lodge an appeal in the hope a government-appointed planning inspector will overturn the council's decision.

In a statement it said: "Over a number of years we have endeavoured to come to a positive solution to this matter, pro-actively working with a range of stakeholders.

"Most recently, we have sought to engage with New Forest District Council as part of our application to deliver the footbridge or a financial contribution to allow the authority to deliver other highway improvements in the area."

Several Lymington Shores residents supported Redrow's proposal, saying a bridge would serve no useful purpose.

But some of their neighbours wrote to the council to oppose the company's application.

One person said: "My partner and I bought our property on the understanding that the building of the bridge was imminent (three years ago). The bridge would provide an invaluable link to the town, particularly for the elderly."

Another resident added: "I very strongly urge the council to ensure this requirement is completed by Redrow.

"Failure to do so would indicate to other developers that planning requirements could be bypassed when found inconvenient to complete."

In a statement issued earlier this year Redrow said: "Since 2015 we have been trying to get the green light to start work on the footbridge, actively working with partners including NFDC, Hampshire County Council, Network Rail and South Western Railway.

"Unfortunately despite our best efforts we have not been able to reach a resolution with all parties in order to construct the footbridge."