Major homes plans in pipeline

By Farnham Herald in Local People

PLANNING applications have been submitted that would directly affect both the villages of Winchfield and Crookham village.

In Winchfield, an application has been made for 700 homes at Pale Lane Farm.

The issue was discussed at the annual Winchfield Parish Council meeting where numerous concerns were raised.

The development site adjoining the Edenbrook development would have significant implications for the village which is already under threat of major development.

The plans propose to change the junction of Pale Lane with the Fleet Road near Elveltham Heath in Fleet, with extra traffic on the villages lanes causing significant problems.

Wates Developments has made a presentation to Elvetham Heath Parish Council, and intends to make further presentations to interested groups.

As part of its submission, Wates gave an indicative layout of the final scheme that will, if approved, as well as the 700 new houses, also contain a local community centre, a new primary school and will be called Elvetham Chase.

Winchfield Parish Council expressed fears over increased traffic from vehicles accessing Winchfield Station and the M3 westbound.

Last week, four parish councillors visited a Wates’ exhibition, where they could raise concerns and take a more detailed look at how the development company plans to make the development work logistically.

The one thing they did feedback on was that the construction company is carrying out a lot more traffic surveys at the request of the council, with one finding that the two main stations in the area, both Fleet and Winchfield are at near or full capacity for station parking.

With Fleet’s new double-decker car park, it is still operating at 92 per cent capacity, while Winchfield station was at 100 per cent capacity.

Winchfield Parish Council feels that this alone is proof enough that a development of this size is just not sustainable.

Another concern raised was also the size of the roads and lanes in Winchfield and the traffic issues these may cause with an influx of 700 new homes and even more cars on the road as a result.

The site would also see homes built on greenfield land, something Winchfield Parish Council, Hart District Council, local MP Ranil Jayawardena and local campaign groups have expressed desires to avoid in the past.

A little under two miles down the road to the Pale Lane site, there is also a plan submitted for the development of 423 dwellings at the Netherhouse Copse site in Fleet.

Alongside the dwellings will be a community facility, associated vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access, drainage and landscape works, including provision of public open space and sports pitches.

The plans have been submitted by Berkeley Homes and Hart District Council has circulated a letter to people seeking observations from the application.

The site is just north of Crookham Village and the impact these new plans may have on the area are still unknown, but given the size and location of the village, the fears are that the effects could be very similar to those in Winchfield.

Local campaign group ‘We Heart Hart’ said on its website it does “not believe this development is either necessary or desirable as there is plenty of brownfield land available, most notably the proposed Hartland Village at the Pyestock site, also proposed by the Berkeley Homes Group”,

To have a say during the consultation period residents can view the plans by visiting www.publicac

plications and searching the code 16/01651/OUT.

Meanwhile, away from Fleet and and 20 minutes west of the area, controversial plans to build 95 new houses in Sherfield-on-Loddon have been refused by Basingstoke and Deane Brough Council.

Put forward by developers Gladman Developments, the proposed development was met with concerns from residents living in both Sherfield-on-Loddon and nearby Bramley.

The area in question in the local village was the land at Goddards Farm, in Goddards Lane, with the application seeking out permission to build nearly 100 homes on the site.

The borough council refused the scheme however, on the grounds that it does not fit with the newly agreed local plan.

In its decision notice, the council said: “The proposal is not considered to represent a sustainable development and is contrary to policy SD1 of the Basingstoke and Deane local plan 2011-29.

“The proposed development would introduce inappropriate residential development within the countryside, which would fail to respect and integrate with the character, visual amenity and scenic quality of the local landscape.

“The harm caused would be by virtue of urbanising and eroding its rural context which is integral to its significance and appreciation.”

Ward councillors for the area also praised the move to reject the plans.

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