THE fate of a plan to build 150 homes near a nature reserve will be decided later this year.
A public inquiry is now set to rule on the planning application in December.
Bargate Homes submitted plans last year to build 150 homes near Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve.
Fareham Borough Council has previously refused the developer’s plan for the 150 homes following concerns over its potential impact on wildlife.
However the fate of the land west of Old Street, Hill Head will now lie in the hands of a government inspector.
The public inquiry will be held at the Fareham Borough Council Civic offices beginning on Tuesday, December 11, and it is set to last four days.
The council received more than 150 objections, with concerns about the wildlife and the nature reserve being raised by residents.
The reserve is home to thousands of species of plants, dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies and birds including dark-bellied brent geese which migrate from northern Russia.
Bargate Homes is now hoping that it can overturn the council’s decision to deny planning permission when the inquiry begins in December.
Councillor Sean Woodward said the authority was taking a ‘robust approach’ on the appeal, adding the site ‘isn’t in the existing or draft plan’.
Many residents are concerned about the potential damage to the nature reserve with Hill Head resident Carmel Oakton saying: ‘The coastal area of Hill Head should not undergo any more construction.’
Protesters say there will be an ‘increase in light and noise pollution’, making it difficult for the important wildlife to survive.
The nature reserve is also home to thousands of plants and other wildlife which would be disturbed and face the risk of their populations being decreased if the homes are given the go ahead.
Bill Hutchinson, chairman of the Hill Head Residents Association, said: ‘There is a good deal of concern that the nature reserve is under threat.’
He added: ‘Many of the wildlife that would be lost are of national significance.’
The News approached Bargate Homes for comment about the public inquiry. However a spokesman for the developer said Bargate Homes has no comment at this time.