CIVIC chiefs have approved plans for 70 new homes in Swanmore.

The new estate is the result of a land swap deal with Swanmore College whereby Linden Homes will build on 2.3hectares of the college’s sports pitches. The college in return will receive nearby land that currently being used as a horse paddock.

It is the second attempt to secure permission for the project, after a previous proposal was rejected for reasons including the impact on the character of the village, and potential parking problems.

But councillors were unanimous in their approval of the revised plan, which saw 17 letters of objection, and some 43 letters of approval from residents.

Cllr Angela Clear said: “It’s obvious that Linden have gone away and followed the advice given at the last June meeting and all concerns have been addressed and it’s a good layout and I support the officer’s recommendations.”

At a planning committee in Winchester on Thursday (March 6), councillors welcomed the amended plan, which will see the 28 affordable homes distributed more evenly throughout the estate.

The land-swap means Swanmore College can build a new floodlit artificial playing pitch and a dance theatre.

Cllr David McLean said: “Most of the objections seem to come down to the layout of the houses, but we have heard a lot about the benefits to the college, which is why I will be supporting it.”

Work is due to begin in the coming months.