A ROMSEY community leader has slammed plans to extend working hours on an estate, fearing residents' quality of life will be demolished.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) received a planning application from Barratt and David Wilson Homes Southampton, which could see work start on the Kings Chase development at 7am and finish at 7pm from Monday to Saturday.

Currently, construction work can only take place between 7.30am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, while on Saturday it runs from 7.30am to 1pm.

If given the green light by TVBC, the extended working hours would last until April 1 2021.

Now, Cllr Dorothy Baverstock has branded the plans as "totally selfish", fearing residents will only have one day free from construction work if the plans are approved.

She said: "Working on a Saturday is not fair to the residents and I don't see why they should suffer for six days a week when there are already builders working there for five-and-a-half days a week.

"At the moment, at least the residents know by lunchtime on Saturday work won't happen anymore in the afternoon and on Sunday, so this move seems totally selfish to me.

"What is the next stage? Working for 24 hours and seven days a week?"

Cllr Baverstock added: "What really gets me down is residents' quality of life is being eroded by this idea that as a country we have to build all these new houses, and the only people who benefit from all of this are the building firms because they make so much money out of these homes."

A document submitted to TVBC by Barratt and David Wilson Homes Southampton said: "There is Government recognition that the construction industry needs to be able to adapt its practices, including by all means of temporary extensions to working hours.

"[This] may be required to facilitate safe working and allow tasks to be completed where social distancing can be challenging.

"Longer working hours may also be needed to facilitate social distancing in the wider community, for instance by reducing pressure on public transport."

Barratt Homes declined to comment.

TVBC is due to decide on the plans by Tuesday, September 29.