CIVIC chiefs have rejected plans to build an "unacceptably large" mixed-use development in Bishop's Waltham.

The application for land opposite Malt Lane Budgens sought to build 28 apartments, five ground floor retail units, a replacement building for the old NHS physiotherapy unit, and a replacement Youth Hall.

But Winchester City Council planning committee decided the plans proved "too problematic", and unanimously refused.

Committee chairman Therese Evans closed the debate saying: "The site's a mess, and I understand the residents and parish council want and deserve a resolution, but I really do not believe this is the idea they had in mind.

"It's far too high, and there's just no let in that design, it's just solid mass and very tall buildings. Bishop's Waltham deserves something better than that."

The committee also said the application did not feature enough detail, and made it difficult for them to know exactly what they were deciding on.

Cllr Kim Gottlieb said: "There's not enough detail to assess the design in the report, and unfortunately I believe this is a fault in the application.

"I hope the applicant can take away what has been said today, and come back in future, because this is clearly the sort of development that residents want and need."

Bishop's Waltham Parish Council "accept the principle" of building a multi-use development on the site, but "could not support" the application from Country Homes Guildford Ltd.

Cllr Robert Shields, representing the parish council, told the committee: "This site has been an eyesore for too long, and many residents would welcome a mixed-development area, but our comments remain: the overall design of this application is far from perfect.

"For this reason, we cannot support this application for such a sensitive site."