PLANS to build a new care village with more than 100 apartments, creating 40 jobs, have been unanimously approved for initial development in Test Valley.

Members of the council's southern area planning committee agreed to grant the application outline permission on Tuesday night.

It means that the village, which includes multiple buildings for around 150 retirement rooms, will be built in Ampfield, bordering on the boundary of Eastleigh.

The village will see one building with either 65 care beds, or up to 48 extra care units, while the main building will compromise of up to 100 one and two-bedroom extra care units on the site of the former North Hill sawmill yard.

The applicants, Perbury, also say it will bring a net increase of 40 jobs generated from the site.

The only point debated on the night, saw a debate over lighting on Baddesley Road.

Despite objections from the parish council, and with the support of almost 60 residents, members agreed that lighting would be put in place on the road for school children who walk to nearby schools in Hiltingbury and Chandler's Ford in the winter months, and future care village residents.

Baddesley councillor Alan Dowden supported the plans, adding: "The report shows the need has been proven for assisted living and extra care accommodation.

"School children who live within this proposed care village will need to access the local shopping facilities and post office in Hiltingbury Road and Ashdown Road.

"It will be essential that the portion of unlit stretch of Baddesley Road is provided with lighting, ensuring a safe and lit pathway. Therefore, I am happy to support this application."

Jim Tarzey, executive director of planning at Pegasus Group, said: "This is a great opportunity to secure the long-term future of an underused and unsightly brownfield site on the edge of Chandler's Ford."

Baddesley Road itself forms the boundary between Eastleigh and Test Valley. Though Eastleigh Borough Council have been kept informed, their only concern was the added traffic travelling to and from the M3, but they did not either recommend or dispute the application.

The site, a former sawmill, is currently used for industrial and commercial storage.

Romsey councillor Mark Cooper said: "As an opposition councillor, I was going to enjoy tearing into the application for its location, but after a site visit, I couldn't help but support the development due to the state of the current site."

As well as the buildings, parking spaces, new tree plantings and a barn for storage and office purposes will also be built on the site.