CONTROVERSIAL plans to build four homes near Winchester have been rejected by planners.

The proposal would have seen the homes on land to the east of 140 Alresford Road, in Itchen Stoke, and comprised two four-bedroom and two three-bedroom homes.

It attracted dozens of objections, with residents voicing concerns over a “dangerous” access road and arguing that the agricultural land should not be converted into housing as it would remove the open space between properties.

Dr Martin Burton, of Water Lane, Itchen Stoke, said: “This access point is a particularly narrow section in the road with impaired vision in either direction due to bends in the road. There are already safety concerns by those living on this section of the road.”

City councillor Jackie Porter was also among the objectors, as was Itchen Stoke and Ovington Parish Council, which said: “In the context of Itchen Stoke, this proposed development represents an executive estate.

“To imply that this development will somehow sit sympathetically and seamlessly with neighbouring properties and the village as a whole is to demonstrate an imagination honed by the prospect of profit.”

Michael Scammell, South Downs National Park Authority conservation officer, added: “To my eye, the introduction of a barn-like house type, presumably as a nod to the converted Giles Barn to the west, introduces an especially unwelcome smack of falsification and would not contribute to the legibility of the Conservation Area in the longer term.

“It is also worth noting that Itchen Stoke is included on the National Register of Conservation Areas at Risk – I would imagine predominantly due to the threat of excessive suburban development, which this application would seem to exemplify.”

The scheme architects Radley House Partnership said: “The dwelling’s sizes follow local planning guidance and is driven by local need.

“The low density nature reflects local plot sizes and compliments the open, rural nature of its surroundings. The design also follows local guidance by reflecting surrounding buildings, their scale, mass and materials being sympathetic to the area.”