COUNCILLORS have voted unanimously to approve a housing application in a Winchester suburb.

Despite 18 letters of objection, two new homes will be built on the site at Downside Road, Weeke, following a meeting of planning chiefs at the Guildhall on Thursday (March 6).

Residents’ concerns centred primarily on access to the site during and after the building work. Concern was also raised over damage to trees.

Ian Donohue, representing the applicant, Mr J Holloway, said: “I asked an arborist if any access could be achieved without damaging trees and he said it was possible. Only then was the application put in.”

The council’s policy also dictates that the developer could be expected to contribute toward affordable housing in the area, to the tune of £109,600 – officers struck a deal with the developer that secures just £43,994.

Cllr Jane Rutter said: “If we cannot secure 100 per cent of our affordable housing contribution for these properties – prime residential land – we never can.”

But Julie Pinnock, head of development at the council, said: “We have scrutinised these figures and you can be assured we’re doing everything we can to achieve the viable amount.”