PLANS for a gypsy pitch in Test Valley to be used for three years have been delayed.

A planning application was submitted to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to temporarily use the land east of Rownhams Lane and south of Bracken Road, North Baddesley.

If approved, a new access point from Bracken Road would be created and two car parking spaces, including one space for light good vehicles, would be built.

Now the plans, which were meant to be decided on by March 12, have been pushed back.

However, it is not known why at this stage.

This comes after the plans came under fire from residents, claiming the site is already turning into a "dumping ground" for rubbish.

Critics of the controversial application are also calling for the plans to be rejected over fears the new access point from Bracken Road will create more traffic congestion.

Roma Sawyer, who lives in Meadow Close, said: "The character and appearance of this area has already been spoiled.

"What was a green space is now being used as a dumping ground with building materials, an old mattress, scrap metal, machinery, rubbish being left around the site.

"We believe this would only be exasperated once it is being occupied full time."

She added: "Bracken Road is a busy road, used daily by commuters (as a rat run) and by school traffic.

"We believe any access onto Bracken Road, so close to the junction of Rownhams Lane, would be very dangerous."

Another resident, who lives in Bracken Road, said: "What once was a pleasant area of wooded land has, over the past few months, been extensively cleared of trees and vegetation.

"It has been turned into an eyesore with piles of rubbish growing rapidly over the past weeks and is not a good look when entering the village.

"The access point onto Bracken Road might prove to be dangerous if used for vehicles towing trailers.

"This is a busy stretch of road with some motorists and buses travelling at quite a speed down to the junction with Rownhams Lane and also a danger to the many school children travelling to and from school."

Alex Brown, who lives in Bracken Road, hit out at the plans by stating a number of bonfires were lit on the site before 2019.

He said: "Most of the bonfires were extremely smokey and at a time when people wanted to enjoy the summer weather.

"On a number of occasions, LGVs were seen arriving at the site full of garden rubbish and left the site empty after a bonfire was started."

The agent who is representing the applicant, Stephen Jupp MRTPI, said in a letter to Test Valley Borough Council: “He is both a gypsy by birth and by ay of life, as he travels for work.

“He has found living two days of the week in bricks and mortar difficult and that fact that this reduces his ability to travel has made things much worse, with his children being unable to stay with him.

“He therefore needs to urgently find a permanent base for his children and have somewhere to store his touring caravan.”

TVBC has been contacted for comment.