Winchester planners have approved a doubling of the number of caravans allowed on a Gypsy and Traveller site near Bishop's Waltham.

Local people opposed the scheme for eight caravans at The Paddock, Durley Street, Durley, but the planning committee approved it by six votes to three.

The site originally got planning permission after appeal in 2018 for four permanent caravan pitches and four touring caravans on what had been a greenfield site.

The latest plan sparked 18 objections. One objector, Toby Ross, told the committee that the applicant "had never adhered to any planning conditions and at one stage there were 13 static caravans there.

"It is at odds with the environment. With eight static caravans it will dominate the site."

Applicant Tony Castle said the four families on site were growing and members had married and had children, creating a need for more caravans.

He said the scheme had been approved five-six years ago and he had been inexperienced at dealing with planning: "We didn't understand planning and legislation, the drawings and how everyone had to conform.

"The site has become untidy. Through Covid, we couldn't go to work and the financial situation. If we get permission we will get the site in order, so we know what to do."

The original plan included a day room but the committee heard from planning officer Liz Young that modern caravans are big enough for one not to be needed.

Steve Delmege, chairman of Durley Parish Council, said villagers had heard that two of the plots had been sold to other families, something that Mr Castle denied.

Mr Delmege said the expansion would create an overcrowded site.

Cllr Jonathan Williams, Lib Dem, the ward member, said: "There is a large amount of opposition to this application" citing the site's anti-social behaviour, arguments, barking dogs and litter.

"There is concern that there could be 16 families occupying the site," he said, referring to eight pitches and eight touring caravans.

Committee chairman Jane Rutter said the site had reached an absolute maximum at eight pitches, adding: "I do think eight is reasonable, but no more. This is the maximum the site can take. The planning conditions are serious, over water, the drainage, the landscaping and all the other conditions, otherwise we will take enforcement action. Any more caravans will have to go elsewhere."

Cllr Danny Lee, Green, said: "I'm slightly perplexed. Previous planning conditions should be done. There is frustration from the parish council that certain things have not been done. Can we be assured they will be done? Should we not draw a line and get these things done?"

Cllr Rutter said such an action by the council would be unreasonable. The new plan also has conditions which the council will enforce. "Let's have goodwill and assume the applicant will abide by the law."