A planning application has been lodged to build 78 new homes in a field on the edge of Kings Somborne, despite some villagers strongly opposing the plans.

Cheshire firm Gladman Developments Limited is seeking outline permission from Test Valley Borough Council to boost the small rural community by an estimated 200 people.

It wants to build on a four hectare field between Eldon Road and Furzedown Road, and says around 20 of the new dwellings will be affordable housing.

However the site is designated as countryside in the adopted local plan, is outside Kings Somborne’s settlement boundary and partly in a high-risk flood zone.

Kings Somborne is also eight miles from the nearest garage, the local doctor in Stockbridge is over-subscribed and there is little employment in the area.

Gladman was contacted by a cluster of residents protesting at their plans when they leafleted 555 nearby houses several months ago.

One complained that the new homes would “totally change the character of the village”.

Another pointed out that the planned development would increase the number of people living in Kings Somborne by 11 per cent, at a time when the local plan was seeking to build just 36 new dwellings across all 38 of the villages in the rural Test Valley each year.

Concerns were also raised that Stagecoach is set to axe all its current bus services to and from the village next month, so the extra residents would generate an estimated 640 additional car journeys a day around rural lanes.

Resident Dan Stevens was worried about whether the village primary school had space for an estimated 100 extra children.

“The school would just not be able to cope with this number as it would more than double the current capacity,” he added.

Fellow resident Dr Leanne Tee wrote: “Please no more housing on Eldon Road. The road is already far too busy with cars flying past our house.

“It is totally unsafe now for children to play outside. This will make it worse.

“The paint is barely dry on the last development on Eldon Road.”

When approached by the Hampshire Chronicle a spokeswoman for Gladman Developments Limited said they did not comment on their planning applications.