RESIDENTS have been left disappointed as city councillors once again back a controversial expansion of Alresford – two years after the plan was originally approved.

The planning committee unanimously supported the scheme for 320 homes, open space, an industrial estate and a new junction to the A31 on farmland east of Sun Lane.

The proposal by Seaward Developments came before the panel for a second time to seek approval for changes to conditions on the site.

The developer is now required to start the building of housing within four years to “provide the security for the timely delivery of affordable housing”. The whole scheme is expected to be take eight years to completion.

It is also expected to submit a detailed phasing plan to establish a timeline of construction and infrastructure provision.

Further work has been carried out on the contentious A31 roundabout, with a requirement for it to be completed prior to any other development on the site, which sparked criticism.

Resident Peter Clarke said the scheme would have a “damaging impact on the town, its residents and businesses and the existing road network”.

Mr Clarke continued: “It is 20 months since outline permission was granted and the developer has not yet produced an acceptable design for the new A31 roundabout and access roads.”

He added that the increased traffic will cause residents in Tichborne Down living in listed buildings to “suffer severely from noise, vibration and light and air pollution”.

Concerns were also raised by Alresford Town Council represented by Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith, who said: “We have a major concern about the roundabout and its location and the lack of details and importantly the lack of details about the mitigation methods for the old listed buildings.”

Cllr Smith also criticised the lack of detail within the scheme’s masterplan, but committee members agreed that further detail would be provided when reserved matters applications are submitted.

There was also worry about the uncertainty of leasing land adjacent to the industrial estate as the council seeks to construct a new community centre.