PLANS to enlarge a popular waterfront pub in the New Forest have been thrown out.

Civic chiefs have rejected an application to build a single-storey extension to the Jolly Sailor, which forms part of a conservation area overlooking Southampton Water.

Members of the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) claimed the proposed development was too big.

A report to members of the planning committee said: "The property has been identified as a building of local importance.

"It dates back to the late 18th century and was originally a beer house, becoming a public house in the mid 19th century."

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The Jolly Sailor is surrounded by Grade II listed buildings, including the historic Ashlett Mill.

"While the building has undergone some unfortunate unsympathetic alterations, the original scale and form of the building is still evident, and the essence of its traditional forest character remains evident," said the report.

"The building thus contributes positively to the architectural evolution of this hamlet and the New Forest.

"The proposed addition would protrude further to the rear than any of the other additions which have been added to the building over the years.

"It would appear out of scale and disproportionate in relation to the original building, detracting from the architectural and historic interest of this non-designated heritage asset."

The report said the extension would result in the removal of a mature hedge which made a positive contribution to the area's rural character.

A heritage statement which formed part of the application said the addition would be identical to an existing extension.

The statement also said the "sensitive siting and design" of the proposed development meant it would not have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the pub.

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It added: "The scale and siting of the extension would ensure the original part of the historic building would remain clearly evident.

"Young Ash trees and short lengths of hedge would be replaced with new trees to the north. A new hedge would be planted alongside the extended bar to soften the edge of the car park. There would no impact on the setting of any of the Grade II listed buildings, including the former mill."

But NPA members supported the planning officers' recommendation and rejected the proposal.

The applicant, Ashlett Pub Ltd, could decide to either lodge an appeal or submit a revised scheme.