THE FIRST images of a controversial new housing scheme near a Hampshire beauty spot have been released.

Plans, submitted by Highwood Homes, for the Old Mansion site at North Stoneham Park, Eastleigh were passed at a meeting of the Test Valley Southern Area Planning Committee on December 8.

The development comprises of 63 new homes, including three and four-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments, including 12 affordable apartments.

All will be set on a 26-acre site within the grounds of the old North Stoneham House mansion site that is said to date back to at least 1638.

As the latest pictures of the development show, the homes will be based close by to natural beauty spots, including Stoneham lakes and will be set around a village green with a pond and arranged as The Mansion Apartments, The Courtyard, The Square, Woodland View and Lakeside View.

Concerns have been raised by Eastleigh and District Angling Club that the development will bring more traffic and congestion to the area, as well as the new buildings towering over the lakes where fisherman often visit.

Highwood Homes says the developments close proximity to the fishing ponds, including the historic Park Pond that once served the old mansion, and trees referred to in the Domesday Book highlight the sensitive nature of the site which is something it has “worked so hard to preserve”.

Jon Bray, Planning Manager at Highwood said: “As with the entire North Stoneham Park community, sustainable, well-designed development that will enhance its heritage assets is at the heart of our plans.

“Our commitment to the local green infrastructure will include the conservation of all historic elements, substantial tree planting and the creation of a series of clearings, public open spaces and play areas.

“Of equal importance is the provision of high quality, character homes and plans that will help meet local housing needs.”

The development is south of North Stoneham Park and east of Stoneham Golf Club and, when complete, will be approached by a private road leading to a parkland setting.