PLANS to extend working hours on a Romsey estate have been approved.

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

As reported, construction work could only take place between 7.30am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, while on Saturday it ran from 7.30am to 1pm.

Now, the extended working hours will last until April 1 2021 after they were approved by TVBC on Friday (October 16).

A spokesperson from Barratt Homes said: "The safety and wellbeing of our homeowners is our utmost priority and the best practicable measures will be implemented in all work carried out in order to be considerate to existing residents."

A document submitted to TVBC by Barratt and David Wilson Homes Southampton said they would be "focussing on internal works" on the site and "noise concerns would be limited".

READ: Community leader slams plans to extend working hours on Kings Chase development >>>

They stressed no heavy machinery would be used in the "last hour of the working day" - between 6pm and 7pm.

The document added: "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."

This comes after Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on TVBC, branded the plans as "totally selfish".

She feared residents would only have one day free from construction work if the plans were 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."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Dorothy BaverstockCllr Dorothy Baverstock

Cllr Baverstock stressed the previous hours on Saturday meant residents "knew by lunchtime work wouldn't happen in the afternoon and on Sunday".

She 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."