PLANS to expand Picket Piece have taken a blow but a fresh proposal could yet be on the cards.

An application by Foreman Homes to build 22 homes on an area north of 10 Walworth Road has been turned down by Test Valley Borough Council.

It was refused by council planning chiefs for several reasons, including the building of certain plots being seen to be of “poor design that fails to improve the character of the area.”

The developer had also proposed to build 50 on-site parking spaces, but planning officers said the layout does not provide adequate and convenient parking and visitor parking would not have been attractive to all users, particularly those with mobility impairments.

A planning document said: “The proposed layout, siting and height of the dwellings in relation to the surrounding ground levels would create a cramped form of development with inadequate ability to provide sufficient landscaping to integrate, respect and complement the semi-rural character of the area.”

The plan was adjacent to another application in which Foreman Homes had proposed to build 91 homes, which has also been refused.

Steve Carrington, Foreman Homes Group planning director, said: “Whilst disappointed with the refusal, we remain keen to work with the council, and to deliver much-needed, good quality housing, and anticipate our coming back with a new scheme very shortly.

“We are keen to help beat the housing crisis that is currently affecting our country, and the only way to do that is to get on with building.

“As such, whilst this represents an unwelcome delay, we remain confident that a consent will be forthcoming in the following months, with our seeking to put a shovel in the ground shortly thereafter.”

Privacy was also an issue with the layout as the 22-home plan was deemed to not provide acceptable distances between plots to prevent mutual overlooking.

The site would also have “unacceptable” noise levels from nearby land uses, and the officers added the plan did not show evidence of searching for suitable alternatives in reducing noise impact.

Water management was another problem with officers saying insufficient information had been submitted to show the site would not increase the risk of flooding in the area.

The proposal also was deemed to place an “undue and unmitigated burden on existing education and community facilities”.