RESIDENTS in Droxford are furious that the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has withdrawn its objection to a new housing development.

Developers plan 10 homes for land at Townsend, Northend Lane, within the park and conservation area.

But villagers say the development will be too dense and out of keeping with the area, with several Grade II listed Georgian houses close to the site. They favour a development of four properties or less.

Robin Appel, of the Malt House, said: “The SDNP do not seem to care. If they’re the custodians of our national park, then God help us. I thought their job was one of protection. Why aren’t the South Downs people helping to protect us? It’s just not right.”

There have been five applications in all, dating back to 2009.

A total of 53 letters of objection have been sent to Winchester City Council, who are acting as an agent for the SDNPA.

One of the objectors, Dr Pietro Acciarri, of Northend Lane, has lived in the village for 37 years.

He said: “We feel very strongly that this will be a terrible mistake that will spoil the countryside. The South Downs National Park should fight this but they are scared of losing the court case and so they have caved in. I do not think this is serving the local community. It’s riding roughshod over what the people want. They are chickens.”

Droxford Parish Council are also strongly opposed to the application from Kebbell Homes, their concerns including traffic, sewerage and overdevelopment.

A parish council statement said: “Unsympathetic overdevelopment of the site, as proposed, will have a significant and irreversible impact on the setting of these properties, eroding the rural nature of the village and part of the National Park.

“The impact of the development will irrevocably change the character of the entrance into Droxford from Garrison Hill as the density is far in excess of neighbouring properties, creating an urban effect.”

A spokesman for the SDNPA said: “Previous applications submitted for this site have been refused by the South Downs National Park Authority because of their perceived impact on the National Park’s landscapes and failure to include affordable housing or make any contribution towards transport facilities. An appeal by the developers was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate but only because of the need for affordable housing and an appropriate contribution to transport facilities.

“The developers have now resubmitted their application to include a contribution towards affordable housing offsite and transport facilities. This application will come to the SDNPA Planning Committee in due course and they will take the Planning Inspectorate’s appeal decision into account when making their decision.”

The application is will now come before the city’s planning committee at a date to be confirmed.