PROTESTERS have won the first round into their battle to stop 19 homes being built on Romsey’s eastern outskirts.

Test Valley’s southern area planning committee threw out Talisman Homes’ scheme at Peel Close, Woodley, amid fears that the proposed development would add to existing congestion on approach roads.

Councillors also expressed concerns about housing on a site designated as countryside.

Romsey Extra Parish Council was vehemently opposed to the scheme and the authority’s chairman, Chris Wesson, made this clear when he addressed Tuesday’s TVBC meeting.

Mr Wesson said it may only be 19 homes, but it was “too many” for residents living in the area.

“From what we can see, the site lies outside the settlement boundary,” said Mr Wesson.

During the debate, Cupernham ward member, Dorothy Baverstock, attacked the scheme, claiming it would have a significant impact on Hunters Crescent, which leads to Peel Close.

“My concern is the traffic problems. There are already problems at Hunters Crescent in the evening and weekends, with people parking cars on either side of the road, making it difficult to get a car through and there are often cars parked across the entrance to Peel Close now, and with an estimated 142 additional trips each day, this is one step too far.

“It is really, really, going to affect Hunters Crescent,” said Mrs Baverstock, who raised concerns about emergency services vehicles getting through to homes in the area.

But Test Valley’s chief planner, Paul Jackson, warned this was not a valid reason for refusing the application.

Ex-Romsey mayor, Ian Richards, a former resident of Peel Close, was also opposed to the scheme.

“It is overdevelopment of the site and it wouldn’t fit in with the existing street scene,” said Mr Richards.

Romsey Extra ward borough councillor, Ian Hibberd, also voiced his concerns. “It would have an adverse effect on residents in the area and is inappropriate development in the countryside.”

Councillors refused the application by one vote, with eight against it and seven supporting the scheme.

Borough planning control members will have the final say on the scheme.