A BID to create up to 10 homes at a disused quarry is still awaiting a decision as discussions over wildlife concerns continue.

Developers are asking East Hampshire District Council for outline planning permission for the Ropley Lime Quarry site in Soames Lane, near Alresford, and it is thought that a decision will now be reached in the next few months.

As previously reported, the scheme caused anger among residents and conservationists who have objected over fears for local wildlife.

It followed a critical report that labelled the risk to nesting peregrine falcons as “substantial” and “unacceptable”.

Tristan Norton, senior ecologist at Hampshire County Council, wrote in a letter to planners: “I have now reached the carefully considered opinion that, on balance, the risk of the birds deserting the site altogether is substantial and that this is an unacceptable ecological impact.”

It was thought the bid may have gone before a planning committee in June, but the district council says the decision has been delayed by talks.

A spokesman said: “The decision for this application is still pending as a result of on-going discussions with the county ecologist regarding potential ecological issues within this site.

“It is hoped that a decision will be made on the application within the next couple of months.”

Defending the scheme in a statement earlier this year, developer GVA said: “The design process has sought to minimise the impact on habitats and species found within the site, whilst also incorporating appropriate mitigation measures.

“The redevelopment of the site offers the opportunity to improve the ecological situation, including improvements to biodiversity and planting of native species.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is among those objecting to the scheme.