A CONTROVERSIAL planning application to build five homes in a village near Winchester has been permitted by the city council.

Alfred Homes applied for the homes to replace the existing property at Torf House, Shepherds Lane in Compton.

As previously reported, the proposal has received more than 70 objections from residents.

The application was permitted at a meeting of the Planning Committee on Wednesday, September 27.

READ MORE: City council concerns over M3 Junction 9 scheme environmental impact

Speaking at the meeting, Compton resident Mark Leigh objected to the application over concerns about the impact of increased traffic on local lanes. He said: “Alfred Homes has completely ignored the constraints laid out in our local area design statement and draft village design statement, including blatantly misrepresenting building site lines.

“I would like to focus on highway safety, which has been a concern for residents due to our narrow, single track lanes and dangerous, substandard junctions at Otterborne Road. Alfred Homes has presented a Highways report which fundamentally contradicts the findings of three previous appeal inspectors, council highways engineers who all agreed that further development in Compton Down should be refused on the ground of highway safety.”

Also speaking in opposition, Cllr Adrian Brophy, ward councillor for Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery, also pointed to a history of planning applications being denied for the area due to concerns over increased road traffic and poor sight lines on some roads.

Speaking in favour of the proposal, applicant Chris Rees said: “Page two of the village design statement says that change is inevitable, but it should be in line with the character of the area. We’ve taken direction from (Winchester City Council) officers, and the village design statement forming the application.”

SEE ALSO: On-street parking control in Winchester to move to Hampshire County Council

Mr Rees said that marshals would be in place during construction to ensure that traffic to the site would have little impact on motorists using the roads around the site.

Nick Culhane, traffic engineer, also speaking in support, added: “It’s been suggested that Hampshire County Council be reconsulted on this application. The objectors have commissioned their own report, Highgate Transport did a report, which HCC has reassessed, and it hasn’t changed its mind. They have no objections to this application; indeed, in the last recent years, they have permitted their own development which resulted in 98 additional traffic movements through the Shepherds Lane junction”.

Cllr Jane Rutter said: “It is a very difficult (decision) considering the history of this area and the information that we have received.

“We cannot stand in the way of some developments. We have to make sure it is the right development. It is five large houses when we need smaller homes.

“This is a difficult decision. We have had advice sought and given. It is an important decision for residents.”