CONTROVERSIAL plans for thousands of homes and a main road in the countryside south of Winchester would be “catastrophic”, according to one city councillor.

A swathe of land south of villages including Colden Common and Twyford would be developed under plans being considered by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Cllr Susan Cook who represents the two villages, spoke at a heated Eastleigh council meeting in Hedge End.

The council approved a new Local plan for the borough and agreed to focus on large strategic sites predominantly across the north of the borough in the Bishopstoke and Fair Oak area, known as Options B and C, and close to Colden Common.

Development would include 6,000 homes and a bypass running between Fair Oak to Allbrook and linking to the M3.

The council also pledged to continue to look at all housing options.

Cllr Cook referred to the “environmental vandalism” that would be caused by Options B and C, and expressed concern about a proposed North of Bishopstoke Bypass, which she described as “the road to nowhere.”

She said: “The Eastleigh Strategic Transport Study does not consider the impact of your Local Plan on your neighbouring communities. It does not consider the impact of additional homes and traffic on Wickham, Bishops Waltham, Colden Common and Twyford.

“The landscape in this rural gap between Bishopstoke, Brambridge and Colden Common is of high quality and has intrinsic value. This area has some of the finest views in the borough and provides a network of linked green infrastructure essential for wildlife, recreation and the well-being of local residents."

Cllr Cook also called for openness and transparency going ahead “It saddens me that your current proposal has got this far. This plan will have a devastating and irreversible impact on your Borough and on your neighbours.”

Following the meeting, Cllr Cook added: “We understand that houses have to be built, but I don’t think they want to listen. This is about people’s day to day lives. The long-term affects of this would be catastrophic.

“This is not a done deal and the fight will continue. There will need to be dialogue with Winchester City Council who have already raised concerns, as have MPs.”

Work on the Local Plan will now continue with communities having their chance to comment on future proposals as part of a full consultation process planned before summer 2017.