FARMLAND near Dorchester could be transformed with up to 50 new homes under new plans which have sparked a flurry of objections.

At outline planning application asks for permission in principle to develop a farmland site about the size of five football pitches alongside the Charlton Down site north of Dorchester.

The proposal, for the land north west of Herrison Road, comes from Land Designation Ltd, and has been submitted by planning consultants based in York.

It has already attracted more than 20 letters of objection with another three weeks before the deadline for comments close.

The application says that 32 of the properties would be for sale on the open market with 18 properties offered as ‘affordable’ – no details of the house sizes are given in the application with developers saying that the details will be provided later.

The site runs north west of Herrison Cottage and south west existing Charlton Down homes off Birch Way. The plot is outside of the defined development boundary but partly within and to the south of the Charlton Down Conservation area.

The closest buildings are all Grade II-listed, one of them the 17th century Cowden Farmhouse 300m to the south east with the former hospital chapel block a similar distance away to the north east.

In their planning proposal, the agents say: “The site provides an excellent opportunity to provide good quality housing which integrates well within this existing residential area. There are no physical or environmental constraints at the site providing an opportunity to provide sustainable development.”

They say the scheme will add to the amount of affordable housing in the area, offer some open space for the community and bring more residents which will support local shops and services as well as offering jobs during the construction phase.

Local objections already lodged with Dorset Council include concerns about road safety, further building on open countryside outside the development boundary, claims that the site is prone to flooding and that the extra homes will create a danger to cyclists, pedestrians and others who use the lane as a cut through between Charminster and the old Sherborne Road.

One objection letter reads: “The residents of a further 50 homes would add to an already over-burdened road system and the developer would need to fund improvements to the A352 so as to make the bend safe, widen the bridge to make it two-way and widen Herrison Road in the area of the junction with the new estate.”

Another letter writer claims the field is a nature haven with at least one active badger sett that has been used for more than 30 years.