PLANNERS have given the green light for homes to be built on a former NAAFI site at Farnborough, despite fierce opposition.

Forty-eight objectors, living at The Birches, signed a petition protesting at the development of what they regard as a recreation area.

Eleven other residents wrote to Rushmoor Council with a long list of objections, including loss of privacy and possible overdevelopment.

Other letters were received from people living in Conway Drive calling for a tree preservation order to be placed on the site.

Local people have regarded the wooded site as open space since the NAAFI building was demolished two years ago.

But members of the council's development control committee were told in a report that their hands were tied because the Guillemont Fields site was within a built-up area.

And, because the land is fenced off and owned by the Ministry of Defence, the committee could not object on the grounds that it was public open space.

The committee gave the outline application by Annington Developments Ltd the go-ahead, but with the proviso that the company should contribute £300,000 towards a local community facility.

Agreement will also be sought for the long term maintenance and management of woodland at the northern end of the site.

It is expected that at least 55 homes will be built on the land, but the final number will not be known until Annington submits a detailed application.