NEIGHBOURS have welcomed proposals for a new pre-school and community building in the Test Valley, which is set to be debated by council planners next week.

The scheme involves constructing a one-storey building on the site next to King’s Somborne Village Hall, and has sparked 67 locals to write in their support.

It will also be just metres away from King’s Somborne C of E Primary School.

One resident said: “[The scheme will] hugely benefit the local community if the children could have their own permanent structure.”

Another added: “Children are the future of any community and we must invest in their education, the pre-school provides these vital first steps in their educational journey.”

The application has been submitted by King’s Somborne Parish Council.

It said: “This is a parish council application following months of preparation, pre-submission and consultation.

“Councillors were well aware of the objections raised and submitted to Test Valley Borough Council as well as the over-riding support for the project within the community and wish their continuing support to be noted.”

The parish council said that when not used as a pre-school, the building will be “occasionally” used as a community centre, hosting events from breakfast clubs to lectures and yoga session.

But some neighbours have questioned the scheme, with suggestions that building on recreational green belt land will “set a precedent” for future developments.

Rowland Newell, of Romsey Road, said one of his main concerns was a screening fence along the border of the site.

He added: “Further to my earlier objections from November, I am ever more convinced that this proposal is extremely detrimental to the area and to the quality of life of those directly neighbouring the site.

“From a perspective of damage limitation I was initially relieved that the application has finally been amended to show a close boarded fence along our border, however I am now very concerned that this will not be anywhere near adequate due to the raised height of the proposed building.”

“To reiterate my earlier post this is not an objection to a pre-school but to this particular plan in this particular location.”

This was a point that others shared. The application will be debated by Test Valley Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, March 12 in Crosfield Hall, Romsey. The meeting will start at 5.30pm.