Controversial plans to build 193 homes on fields in Fleet have been approved by councillors.

Berkeley Homes was given planning permission by Hart District Council despite a number of objections from residents.

The houses will be built on land south of the Edenbrook development, in Hitches Lane, along with 50 extra care flats, a new leisure centre, sports pitches and associated parking and infrastructure works.

Fleet Town Council branded the plans a "wholly unsustainable development" and said the first phase of the Edenbrook development had already proved to be in social and economic isolation from Fleet.

The council commented on the plans: “A lack of local retail and community facilities, lack of local employment opportunities and lack of transport links to Fleet will lead to this development being as isolated from the local community as Edenbrook.”

Elvetham Heath Parish Council also criticised the plans, saying: “There is real concern about the safety of people, particularly children, crossing the surrounding roads to access the new facilities.

“The lack of a pavement at the top of Hitches Lane, the busy railway bridge and roundabout are all potentially dangerous.

“There is already a noticeable increase in the traffic flow through Elvetham Heath as it is used by many as a cut-through to the motorway and the station.

"Additional dwellings will only serve to increase this traffic flow and that into the centre of Fleet.”

Hart District Council received around 30 representations from local residents objecting to the plans due to wildlife, traffic and infrastructure concerns, however, the site had already been identified as being suitable for development by the authority and was included in its Interim Housing Strategy, which was adopted in September last year.

Councillors granted planning permission subject to the conditions that no works shall commence until the details of the appearance and scale of the development are approved by the local planning authority in writing, as well as details of a landscape management plan and a surface water drainage scheme for the site.

It is proposed that the first phase of development will include 34 homes, along with the 50 extra care flats, and will be built by 2016.

Phase two will deliver 62 houses as well as some open space by 2017, while the third phase will deliver 47 houses and open space by 2018.

The timetable for the country park and leisure facilities is still to be determined.