Shop scheme for village car showroom rejected by planners who brand it a ‘very poor design’

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Hills of Lymington
The plans were for the site of Hills of Lymington on Milford Road

AN APPLICATION to build a convenience store and takeaway on the site of a car showroom in Pennington has been turned down after being branded a “very poor design”.

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The proposal for Hills of Lymington, at 44 Milford Road, had been heavily criticised by Lymington and Pennington Town Council and nearby residents.

A petition against the plan attracted 51 signatures, and there were 21 letters of objection submitted against it.

The application by Brightbeech Investments would have seen a retail store and hot food takeaway built on the site.

The company said the proposal would reuse the current building and include 17 parking spaces, with daily trading hours of 6am-11pm. It would also create up to 40 full and part-time jobs, it claimed.

But it has been refused by New Forest District Council on the grounds that it was not “well designed”, failed to maximise the potential of the site, and was contrary to the policies in the authority’s Local Plan.

Planning officers also found that the retail space would not be “complementary” to existing similar businesses in the area and that parking allocations were “poor”.

Town councillors had criticised the plan saying it was of “very poor design quality” and that cars travelling to it on an already busy road would cause a traffic hazard.

They also said it failed to make “effective” use of the land which would be better allocated to residential housing.

Residents living near the car showroom said they were worried about noise and disturbance coming from the proposed development, along with litter and traffic issues.

They also said another store and takeaway were “not needed” and could lead to closures of other similar businesses in the area.

As reported in the A&T, the nearby Shell garage at Pennington Cross, near the roundabout on the main A337 Milford Road, is also thought to be the subject of commercial redevelopment.

Proposals have not yet been made public but the Thorp Motors operation next door closed in February having traded for about 20 years. Announcing the last day of trading, business owner Anthony Thorp (55) said the lease would not be renewed.

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