WORK to build up to 300 houses near Romsey could soon begin after being given the green light by planning chiefs this week.

As reported, in 2018 a planning application was granted permission by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to construct the homes in Hoe Lane as part of the council's local plan.

However, it is believed nitrogen pollution in the Solent, which has caused a backlog in planning applications, has meant the plans needed to be re-examined before being seen again.

Nevertheless, they were unanimously approved on Tuesday.

READ: Plans to build three houses and a car park next to a church are slammed >>> 

It was revealed nitrogen from housing wastewater and agricultural sources accelerated the growth of algae, which is believed to be damaging protected wildlife habitats and bird species around the straight that separates the Isle of Wight and England.

During the meeting, it was announced the applicant, The Ashfield Partnership, planned to make their development nitrate neutral by using a reed bed system to trap and treat pollution coming through a stream running through the Luzborough Plantation - north of the proposed homes.

However, Cllr Celia Dowden, who represents North Baddesley on the borough council, raised concerns over what looked like "deep fishing water" on the plantation, fearing this area could be dangerous to pedestrians if it is not fenced off.

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Celia DowdenCllr Celia Dowden

She said: "This may be just illustrative, but that shows what appears to be quite a few areas of deep fishing water.

"The Luzborough Plantation is designated as an open public area, so will that area be fenced off?

"If that is a clear illustration it could be dangerous for young people when we bear in mind we are hoping to get a walkway through there."

READ: Plans for club to offer more overnight boarding for dogs are rejected >>> 

In response to Ms Dowden's concerns, planning officer, Paul Goodman, said the wetlands were "a large area, only a foot deep".

Ms Dowden added she was "happy to approve the application" after the application was given the green light by Natural England - the leading agency in the nitrate neutrality scheme.

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, residents and councillors objected to the plans in 2018 citing traffic issues and access from the single-track lane.

Despite concerns, community leaders at TVBC approved the application after The Ashfield Partnership agreed to more passing places.

PLANS: More than 1,000 homes could be built in borough if pollution problem is solved >>> 

The development on the road was initially established when the borough's local plan was approved by a government inspector in 2016, though North Baddesley councillors managed to reduce the number on the site from 500 down to 300.

The Ashfield Partnership has been contacted for comment.