ALRESFORD town chiefs have completed their comprehensive study of the needs of the market town.

Councillors have drawn up reports on housing, recreation, infrastructure and business.

The studies were sparked by widespread concern aired at public meetings about the council’s proposal to support development on farmland off Sun Lane.

The studies make no recommendations as to where to place the 500 new homes required by 2031.

But the housing study said the town would have to expand: “There is capacity within the existing built-up area of the town to accommodate some new housing development, but this capacity is small and limited. Inevitably greenfield sites on the edge of the town will be required to fulfil the total new housing requirement.”

Half of the new housing should be small dwellings of one and two bedrooms. Also there is growing need for a sheltered/nursing facility.

On industry, the report said: “There has been much talk of relocating the industrial units in The Dean to a new site on the outskirts of the town.

“Whilst this may be feasible there are significant barriers, as much a question of finance and commercial interests as the possible allocation of land and associated issues such as traffic and access.”

On recreation, councillors say there is demand for a BMX track, dedicated cricket pitch, more tennis and allotments.

The studies will be sent to city council planners who are drawing up the district plan that will guide development over the next 20 years.

On employment there are some 200 firms in the town. Around two-thirds responded to a survey and 35 per cent were confident they would employ more people in five-ten years, compared to 11per cent who were expecting to employ fewer people.

The town council recommends some 200 new jobs should be created to maintain the balance in the town and ensure it does not become a dormitory for the elderly.