CALLS to build fewer new homes in Basingstoke and Deane have been rejected by council Cabinet bosses.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s 10-strong decision-making Cabinet have set an interim target of between 735 and 770 new homes to be built every year for 15 years.

The number will form part of the borough’s Local Plan – a guide to how many homes will be built, and where they will go, from 2014 until 2029.

At the Cabinet meeting, campaigners sought to curb the number of new homes, amid fears that too many homes will harm the environment and overload the town’s infrastructure.

Peter Bloyce, from pressure group Save Our Loddon Valley Environment (SOLVE), said the proposed figure was based on “subjective” statistics, and he challenged the evidence used to determine the 770 figure.

“The council’s documents evidence relies on subjective projections which appear aimed at keeping a high housing target,” he said. “Proposals for 770 homes per annum for 15 years looks more like a massive expansion of Basingstoke. It will destroy the very character of the borough which makes this a nice place to live. No one wants this.”

Councillor Donald Sherlock, Cabinet member for planning, said that the borough council had “more work to do” before green-lighting the Local Plan He said: “I am very aware that these figures are contentious and that they will affect the lifestyles of people in this borough.”

He later added: “We need to set a realistic evidence-based figure that meets the Government’s new requirements and will be accepted by the Planning Inspectorate.

“This is a work in progress. This range of figures is based on the latest data available and is subject to review in the light of any further information that emerges before the plan is finalised for submission to the Planning Inspectorate.”