PLANS to create "80 high-quality" holiday lodges in a caravan park near Romsey could be given the green light by planning chiefs.

A planning application was submitted to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to replace 143 touring caravan and camping pitches, including several stored caravans, with "timber-style" lodges at Hill Farm Caravan Park, Sherfield English.

If given the go-ahead, the site will continue to boast 162 car parking spaces and will be accessed from Branches Lane.

A document submitted to TVBC by the applicant reads: "This is a traditional caravan site that is operating on a very limited season and this has impacted upon its viability.

"The existing caravan park is now dated, and the business (including the shop and post office, which already trade for 12 months) has struggled to remain viable due to the type of touring caravan units or pitches available.

"In recent years, there has been a move towards a longer holiday season, with visitors wanting to stay in holiday destinations outside the period March to October.

"If this business is to extend its season, it needs to provide accommodation that can be used for a greater proportion of the year."

They stressed the "80 high-quality timber-style holiday lodges" could help secure the future of the Post Office and shop on the site, adding it "has become an important facility" for residents.

Cllr Nick Adams-King, who represents Blackwater on TVBC, said the plans could raise concerns over more cars driving through the village, but emphasised countryside businesses that help draw in tourists should be supported.

He said: "I anticipate there will be concerns over the increase in the period of time the park is open for and more traffic locally.

"But, that being said, I think we should be supportive of businesses in the countryside particularly when they draw tourists to the area, who benefit the wider community.

"The important thing will be to look at what might be put in place to limit the impact on the neighbouring residents."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Nick Adams-KingCllr Nick Adams-King

The agent for the plans, RPS Group, has been contacted for comment.

TVBC is due to decide on the plans on Monday, January 4 2021.