DEVELOPERS have launched a third attempt to bulldoze a Hampshire pub and replace it with housing.

Taylor Grey Homes has spent months trying to gain planning permission to demolish The Silver Hind and build homes on the site.

The first application was rejected by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) last year after sparking more than 80 objections.

Protest letters started pouring in after the company submitted proposals to build three properties on the site.

Taylor Grey argued that the proposed development would provide much-needed housing in an area where building land was in short supply.

But the NPA described the proposed development as cramped and out of character, adding that it would result in the loss of a community facility.

Taylor Grey lodged an appeal in the hope that a government-appointed planning inspector would quash the NPA's decision and allow the proposed development.

Today the Daily Echo can reveal that the company has also submitted a revised scheme that aims to overcome the authority's previous objections.

Taylor Grey is now proposing to build only two homes on the site.

Its latest planning application reveals that the restaurant at The Silver Hind has already closed, adding that the pub itself it due to shut latest this year.

A design and access statement blames the NPA for the demise of the business, saying it rejected previous planning applications that aimed to improve the facilities.

The statement says: "Attempts to enhance the accommodation and restaurant have been stopped by the local planning authority as they effectively consider the site to be constrained, with a need to protect neighbouring properties.

"This has clearly had an impact on the saleability of the premises as a going concern.

"The authority therefore must be aware that their previous actions have now led to a business that is no longer viable and cannot be sold in its present state."

The statement says the latest housing plan addresses all the issues raised by the NPA when it rejected the first application.

"The new scheme has responded to allegations that the layout, scale and footprint of the previous proposal was unacceptable," it says. "The number of proposed units has been reduced from three to two."

The Silver Hind was formerly the award-winning Nurse’s Cottage, a B&B run by former radio presenter Tony Barnfield.

He retired in 2011 and sold the business to Carol and Andy Cottingham, who converted the building into a pub and restaurant.