PLANS to build nearly 30 homes on an "unsightly" tyre dump near Romsey were given the green light on Tuesday by planning chiefs.

A planning application was submitted to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to put the brakes on the old sawmill site on the A3057, at Ashfield, and build 29 homes instead.

The plans, submitted by Country Homes Guildford, went before TVBC's Southern Area Planning Committee where they were unanimously approved by councillors.

Now, a mix of one, two and four bed homes will be built on the site, which could include 63 car parking spaces for future residents.

READ: Tyre dump homes near Romsey will be a 'disaster', says councillor >>> 

During the meeting, councillors highlighted the need to remove the piles of tyres which have been branded as a "severe fire hazard" that could burn "for months" if set alight.

However, one community leader criticised the plans for providing "no affordable housing", adding the site could help "first-time buyers" get onto the property ladder.

Cllr John Parker, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "This site has been a running chore for many years.

"Not only is it unsightly, but because of the number of tyres on site it is a very severe fire hazard.

"Last time I talked to the fire services they said if it caught fire it would burn not for days, but for months, based on evidence they have seen on tyre fires in the United States.

"That would put nasty, toxic fumes all over southern Test Valley."

READ: Plans to build up to 300 homes near Romsey are approved >>> 

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr John ParkerCllr John Parker

He added he supported the plans as it would mean the council can "get rid of these tyres once and for all", adding it would be beneficial to build the homes on a "brownfield site".

Cllr Alan Dowden, who represents Valley Park on the borough council, said: "I totally agree with Cllr Parker on this because it would provide more homes for people, but at the same time if a fire was to take place it would be a major incident.

"Depending on which way the wind blows, it could cover all of Romsey, North Baddesley and maybe go back to Ampfield where the tyres came from.

"I do not want to see anything like that happen and I am more than happy to support the application."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Alan DowdenCllr Alan Dowden

However, Cllr Celia Dowden, who represents North Baddesley on the borough council, said she was "disappointed" to see no plans for affordable housing on the site.

"This site would have lended itself well to first-time buyers", she added.

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Celia DowdenCllr Celia Dowden

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In response to Ms Dowden's comment, the case officer, Mark Staincliffe, highlighted some affordable housing could be build if "property prices go through the roof" after speaking to the applicant.

He added the tyres would be disposed of "at the earliest opportunity", but it was not confirmed how this would be done.

Country Homes Guildford has been contacted for comment.