This last Friday saw a consultation for the ‘Land East Of Horndean’ which was organised by planning consultants White Young Green on behalf of Highwood, Banner Homes and The Borrow Foundation. This could be our best answer to the housing need in Horndean, and also an opportunity to build in some great facilities for the Parish.
Some 500 people visited during the day and while not everyone is pleased (understandably) to see our Parish grow at this rate, the overwhelming mood was that the proposals could offer some good benefits for the Parish in return. Ultimately, I believe this is the ‘Least Worst’ place to build and so we should make the best use of the land and work with the developer to get the best facilities we can for the community.
WYG have an extended consultation period for comments to be given by email and you can open this by clicking on this link here: Consultation Form. This needs to be sent back by the 9th May at email@example.com
The proposals look to include a number of facilities for the Parish including a cricket pitch and a care home. Highwood are the care home specialists and very much a part of this scheme, so there would be no danger of this not happening as with the Gales site. Their proposals are to develop the land to the top of their site as little as possible with spread out homes, some retirement bungalows and a care home set in the grounds of a cricket pitch and open green space. (See Character Area 1).
One of the concerns about any development is the provision of health care and schooling. We are working hard to get the surgery moved into the Gales development, and WYG have been in discussion with Hampshire County Council to see if the schools have capacity or not. This seems to be a moving target with County, so the plans allocate space for a new Secondary School if one is required.
The design also includes employment sites as well as a Community Building.
A very important part of this consultation is to let the developers know what facilities we want to see designed in if they were to get planning permission. At the moment based on recent surveys and feedback from the Parish Plan we are looking at:
Football fields, possible one Astroturf
Cricket Pitch and Pavillion
Space for a Skate Park
Woodland walks and open green space
Childrens play areas in dog free enclosures
Dedicated dog runs
A very large number of these have been indicated on the drawings, but we now need you to give feedback on if these are what we would like to have incorporated, and most importantly, what facilities do we wish to see in the Community Building? A Gym? Indoor Courts? Space for clubs to hold events? Theater?
Please give feedback on what should be included and comment on this post to start the debate!
One thing was also very clear, the quality of information and the interest in community facility and to build a scheme to add value to Horndean was a stark contrast top the Taylor Wimpey consultation. WGY will also be holding a follow up consultation to represent the plans to show what comments have been included and I will post details here for when this will happen.
Here are links to all 12 of the presentation boards which are re-produced with the images above with the kind permission of WYG
In the last 2 weeks the car sales lot at Horndean car Sales has been cleared. The sales team advise they believe some building work is going to happen, but at this point no planning application is in with EHDC for anything, so quite what, no one knows! The sales team at Linden Homes understand that the land owner is speaking to Tesco Express, but this is something I have not been able to confirm from anyone so far.
The center of Horndean is fragmented and not a great destination. In principle I am happy to see the car sales lot be developed but would much prefer it if this were for a horse shoe of smaller shops set around a car park where some new businesses and some units from The precinct could relocate to create a brighter and more presentable village center. This could give the tired and worn precinct a chance to be redeveloped into part retail and part residential use making the center of our village more useful.
If you know first hand what the intentions are at Horndean Car Sales’ lot then I would very much like to know, and if the land owner is able to come forward and look at how this land could be used to make a better village center then this would be brilliant.
Over the Winter and Spring Downwood Way has regularly flooded with up to 500mm of water damaging some cars and providing entertainment for ‘Boy Racers’. The Highways team at Hampshire County Council had been flat out dealing with flooding which was a threat to homes, and did say they would come up with a permanent solution.
Richard Peach, one of the Highways Engineers who looks after our area has been back in touch and sent me a drawing showing the planned modifications to the below ground drainage that will stop this happening in the future.
The current arrangement drains the storm water into soakaways. This is good as it reduces the amount Southern Water need to treat, but when the groundwater level rises too much the soakaways become less effective which results in this area flooding.
The solution is to install a overflow pipe into the permanent drainage so that the soakaway is used most of the time, but the road will drain into a sewer if it starts to flood.
Richard advises he has secured the funding to carry out this work this year, and hopefully it will be complete in time for this winter. Thank you Richard for sorting this out for us.
Please do not forget that the Housing Consultation for Land East Of Horndean is Tomorrow, Friday 25th April at Merchistoun Hall between 3:00pm and 8:00pm. If you have not visited Merchistoun Hall before then it is at 106 Portsmouth Road.
The developers will have rather more information to show than the sketch on the invitation letter, and if you live in Horndean, it is important that you visit to give your views on the development. It is particularly important that you give views on the sort of community facility that should be included, and while open space and woodland walks are guaranteed, please give clear thought on the suggestions for a Cricket Pitch, Pavillion, Football Fields, new shops, pond, allotments, space for a Skate Park and more. Of particular importance is what should go into the proposed community centre. A gym? Theatre? Ball Courts?
If you have views on Horndean’s facilities, and agree that we need more then it is important to go to give your view. Equally, if you do not support the development then you should also go and give your views as to why.
I hope to see you there and will get to it myself about 6pm after work.
Over the Christmas period there was a spate of ‘Non Dwelling Burglaries’ to Garages and Sheds, and this peaked at several a week. There were also a number of house burglaries too. The good news is that the police have targeted a number of offenders and this has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of burglaries to less than one a week to Horndean, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle. A very encouraging reduction, but the Police are working to reduce this further.
Inspector Humphries who currently leads the police team in our local Parishes has very kindly provided the following information about this which gives an excellent update on what is being done.
Over the whole of the last year (1st Apr 13 – 31st Mar 14) Horndean has seen an increase in burglary offences, both dwelling and non dwelling (a total of 78 compared to 45 the previous year.) This increase is attributable largely to the spate from Xmas into the New Year. In relation to these we have a number of people remanded in prison awaiting trial and we don’t realistically expect to see them again over the next year at least. There are also a couple of offenders that have been displaced elsewhere and I am hopeful they won’t return to the area although we are keeping an eye on that.
Below are all of the reported dwelling and non dwelling burglaries for Horndean over the last two months:
11/03/14 – Southdown Road – Shed
13/03/14 – Lovedean Lane – Shed
19/03/14 – Lith Lane – Out building on building site
20/03/14 – Catherington Lane – Caravan in storage site
07/04/14 – New Barn Farm Lane – Farm Building
20/04/14 – Mundays Road – Attempt to gain entry to rear of house
21/04/14 – Catherington Lane – Attempt to enter garage
There have been none at all in Clanfield and Rowlands Castle has 5, one on 08/03/14 in Castle Rd to an out building and 4 in Redhill Rd on night of 15/04/14 to one commercial premises and 3 houses.
Whilst this is a return to much lower levels I would still prefer there to be nothing at all and the team are still working on raising awareness in the area which is where the perception of an increase may have come from. Also particularly in relation to outbuildings this can see a seasonal increase from this time of year into the summer (not just in Horndean but force wide) and so I would like people to be more aware of security to outbuildings and sheds at this time of year anyhow.
Generally we find that many people take a great deal of trouble in securing their home but leave valuable garden tools and cycles in sheds that are either unlocked or not maintained.
Garden crime is becoming more and more common. Tools such as lawn mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, power tools and bikes are expensive items to replace and may incur the victim extra insurance premiums. This can also be an open invitation for thieves to use garden implements to break into their house or car.
High burglary rates from sheds indicate that they are not only easy to break into but there is a large market for the stolen contents. With this in mind, consider if the property kept inside would be better stored elsewhere.
If you can help with information about any of the burglaries above then please call Hampshire Constabulary on 101.
Development is the current topic for most residents in Horndean, and a resident of Blendworth, a retired Architect practice owner, has suggested some different ideas for Hazleton which might capture imagination.
The sketches have been prepared by Paul Evans with whose kind permission I am reproducing here. Paul’s key argument is that Horndean has a very poor village center. This is without a doubt correct, and the A3M dividing Horndean into two does not help this. By creating a community hub on Hazleton Farm with the cricket pitches drawn into the larger development area as a central hub will create a sense of place. Paul’s suggested layout also separates the business from the housing, so probably making the roads safer, but does mean more housing on Pyle Farm, and takes away the taller business buildings from the A3M where they could provide a very useful noise abatement shield for the residential areas.
I am very pleased to put these thoughts on here, and if you like some of the ideas then bring them up at the ‘Land East Of Horndean’ consultation.
The Land East Of Horndean presents a massive dilemma. It could be the best solution (or Least Worst Solution) to protect large areas of the Parish, but it does have an impact on the residents adjacent to the site too. I firmly believe this is the direction we need to take the housing as our best solution to building a sustainable community while protecting the rest of The Parish from over development.
In the interest of balanced views I am posting an email from Mark Foster who owns land overlooking both White Dirt Farm, and Pyle Farm, who is concerned about the loss of views to both sites. Mark contacted me by email after he found out he could not upload photographs to the blog, and therefore I am posting these here too.
I think the majority of people are not very sensitive to the land between the B2149 and the A3M, but totally agree that the further around the land goes on Pyle Farm and towards Blendworth, the more sensitive the development is. If you agree, then support Mark with feedback at the consultation about which areas are more sensitive than others. (The views expressed by Mark sit well with the consultation feedback on where to build).
Mark’s email and 2 photographs are below:
I was unable to upload these to your blog. The fields are gorgeous, an owl circles each evening. Deer are seen most mornings, foxes teaching their young to hunt (although I keep hens!), pheasants steal my hens’ feed and 2 types of woodpecker do whatever they do.
Having said the above soft bits I need to declare that I’m a (very small scale) property developer and own properties that overlook both Pyle Farm and the WDF sites! Despite not agreeing with you 🙂 may I praise you for your ongoing efforts.
Sadly I find it difficult to believe that either of the WDF and Land East sites will be saved. Major organisations, most proficient at navigating planners (even I find it easy), have invested too many man hours and farmers have millions in their grasp. The only delay being numerous iterations from the developer replacing the low profit facilities with high profit flats.
Ironically you may recall both the Keep and Brewery sales literature used images of the very green open spaces that we have already destroyed!
Guy please consider that the best we can do is cause delay. Rather than to prefer a site consider that once the first is approved the second will be hot on its heels. Delay both! We might manage a few years and in that time the government might have controlled our borders and reduced the need for housing. Sorry drifted off there 🙂 but delay is better than now!
I’m concerned your reasons for preferring Land East of Horndean will come back and bite. You wont be able to use them in defense when the inevitable next phase of expansion comes.
Ideally if your drive and commitment to protecting the Downs was broadened to the wider area we would all benefit from your strength. You get my vote. We need more Councillors like you that actually fight to make a difference.
Readers of this blog will be well aware of the Parish Council’s great project to restore the village War Memorial to its former glory with a new goddess Nike to replace the figure that was lost in a car accident many decades ago. This terrific project in time for the World War 1 centenary commemorations is a project the Parish Council and its supporters can be truly proud of. Much of the funding has been raised by donations from Horndean residents and businesses with NA Curtain Walling contributing a very welcome £5,500. Robbie Welsch, Director at NA Curtain Walling and local resident along with the Parish Council invite everyone to view the scale model that will be used to manufacture the final figurine.
This will be on display at Merchistoun Hall from Friday 25th April 2014 at 2pm for a week. The Parish Council are still seeking contributions and if you would like to be a part of the history of the renewal of this statue then please contact the parish council for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo below of the original statue which the Parish Council are restoring and anticipate will be installed at the end of June.
You will recall that on the 21st, 22nd March a public consultation was held in Horndean to get the communities views on where housing should be directed in Horndean. The numbers have since been crunched and the overwhelming community view was for development around Hazleton and Pyle Farms adjacent to Junction 2 of the A(3)M.
The consultation results were very convincing and will add weight in planning decisions for the short term until the allocations plan can be put together when the data will form a key part of the constraints for the future development of Horndean.
Planning decisions need to balance Environment, Economy and Social issues and the very clear community view of where to build will be considered under the ‘Social’ criteria which will mean that for any development on sites like White Dirt Farm, the environmental harm will need to be minimal. As White Dirt Farm would be such a harmful place to the environment to develop anyway, the threshold for proving it is suitable just got higher.
Thank you to the estimated 800 people who attended and contributed to the consultation.
The tables below show the views on the most suitable places to build, and the community facilities people feel we should link with development.
Ok, Here we have an article about another housing development. It is very easy to write about proposed development and say it is not a good place to build, Strategic Gaps will be affected, Landscape issues are a key concern etc, as most of the electorate are against development in principle, full stop. A populist argument. Nice and safe for a local Councillor.
For White Dirt Farm this has most certainly been the case but for me the rights and wrongs of Taylor Wimpey’s proposals do genuinely fit correctly with the public view. Given the opportunity however, I would be against any more development in Horndean in principal too as like most other residents of Horndean I wish to live in a semi rural community, but the reality is that this is just not possible.
We are living longer, we have more than 2 children, and there are fewer people per house every year. Responsible governance means planning for this population growth, and for Horndean between now and 2028 we need to find space to build another 700 homes. This is a lot, compared to our 5,200 current housing stock, but over this period works out at an increase of about 1.5% homes per year. We do need to plan for this housing, so it then becomes a task to put this in “the least worst place” and to get the best community facilities we can in return for the development. (Sustainable Development)
There is a key SHLAA site I believe is the right solution for Horndean and a developer has recently submitted an EIA Screening application to East Hampshire District Council. Like the White Dirt Farm development, this is NOT a planning application to build, but a technical process to establish the amount of environmental work needed to assemble a satisfactory planning application. I have included a link to the EHDC planning website below so you can view the EIA screening application and comment if you wish.
White Young Green are the planning consultancy that are representing the land owners and developers, and in stark contrast to Taylor Wimpey’s approach have been in touch over the last months to seek views on the community facilities we would wish to see in a new development, and to establish a firm commitment to have a thorough and effective consultation process. They have incorporated very many of the suggestions we have put forward and now need to go to public consultation to see what the community at large thinks, and what should be changed on the plans.
WYG have asked If I can post the details of their consultation online. This proposed development, if approved, will offer facilities for every home in Horndean so they are also writing to every household in Horndean over the next 7 days to invite everyone to the two consultations WYG will run in April and June this year.
The first of these two public consultations is on Friday 25th April 3:00pm to 8:00pm at Merchistoun Hall and you should attend and give your views.
The second public consultation will be to show the revised plans with public feedback incorporated. Click on the image below to enlarge.
The developers have issued a copy of the proposed site layout and this is below. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Care Home – The proposal is for a 55 to 60 bed care home with up to 21 bungalows for supported accommodation. We were disappointed when the Gales Care Home fell through, but this development is led by Highwood, a care home specialist provider so they are involved in detailed planning at day one. This will give homes and accommodation to down size into for many residents.
School – This is one of our key concerns about any development as to whether the local schools will cope. WYG have allocated a site for a primary school if it is required and are currently in discussion with HCC about our future needs.
Doctors – East Hants are working hard with the Doctors surgery and Linden homes to ensure the practice can move into the new development. This will provide ample capacity for the new homes.
Cricket Pitch, Pavilion with changing rooms and car parking – One of our suggestions – do you agree? Let them know at the consultation.
Football and AstroTurf pitches – Horndeans are in constant demand and any increase in housing will need more facilities.
Community Building – We have several community buildings, but all are very busy. what should this new building contain? Gym? Indoor Ball Courts? Community Hall? Adult Day Centre? Theatre? give your views at the consultation.
Enterprise and Employment Zones – business opportunities need to link with new homes in parallel.
Allotments – 30 new allotments as Horndean currently has a long waiting list.
New local shops – what should these be? should there be professional services too?
At the consultation give your views on if this is a suitable place to develop or not, what type of housing is required in the community, and what facilities you think are required.
Is This a done deal?
No. The proposals need to go through the rounds of consultation, and then through the planning application process.
Is this likely to be a successful application?
Quite Possibly. In your mind, Compare White Dirt Farm with this land and the landscape issues are significantly less damaging. The land is not strategic gap. It is positioned next to a motorway junction meaning the added burden of traffic through our villages will be minimal, so these 3 items alone mean the environmental harm of developing the 2 sites compare very differently. Now look at the community facility the East of Horndean land will bring and this gives it greater sustainable value, or a better community. These are the sorts of factors the case officer and planning committee will consider.
What can I add to the consultation and why should I go?
To have your say. This might be that you feel it is the right or wrong place to build. If approved it would be the biggest change for Horndean, but might do the most to protect our community at large from development in the wrong places. Importantly though are the community facilities and what the final plans include. Is the cricket pitch a good, or rubbish idea? Should we focus all the community benefit into the community center and have the best facilities we can in one item? What facilities should the developer hand over first? (700 homes would take years build and the community facilities would need to be handed over progressively as sales fund the facilities. What do we want first?)
WYG are proposing consultations in April and June with a planning application very soon after. The build process would be about 10 years if planning was granted.
Do you as a Councillor support it?
I firmly believe this land to the East of Horndean (Hazleton and Pyle farms) is the ‘least worst’ place to build in Horndean, and that if this represent the best solution to satisfy our housing need then my role as a Councillor is to pitch for as much good quality community facility as we can get, and to ensure the development compliments Horndean as best possible. I will not say I support this scheme yet until the final community facility shopping list is agreed, and a table established that links when the facilities are delivered compared to the houses delivered. I do believe that it will be possible to get to this point based on the proactive discussions so far, and look forward to seeing how this could add value to Horndean. It is essential now that the community at large gives their view at the consultations to shape the plans further to reflect what we all want. When WYG get a set of proposals together they will still need to go through the planning process.
Below follows a message from George Hollingbery, our local MP on Speeding:
A good proportion of my constituency post bag is about the noise and speeding of motorcyclists on rural roads in Hampshire. There is no doubt this is a real problem with very large groups of bikers travelling on the county’s roads, particularly at weekends and on summer evenings when the noise can be continuous for residents.
Volumes of riders are high on the A272, A31 and the A32, which are real favourites, but other routes such at the Corhampton and Morestead road and several others down near Rowlands Castle and Denmead also have issues. These vehicles are presently allowed on the road just like any other, but many residents are fed up with the dangerous speed they travel through villages, some of their manoeuvres while on the road, road racing between bikers and the sheer noise of the high-performance machines with illegal track exhausts.
The letters and emails about this has got to such a level I have called for a meeting with the police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes and local parish and district councillors so that they can air their grievances. It’s clear that the police are the lead on this issue and have done work to try and address the problem. I know that new 360 degree mobile speed cameras can capture motorcycle registrations and I will be pressing that they are deployed more often at hotspots.
Now there are, of course, always issues about motorcycle safety – something that has rightly attracted a great deal of government money and high profile campaigns on television, and I accept that we are talking about a minority of bikers spoiling things for the law abiding majority. It’s a startling fact too that motorcyclists are roughly 35 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants, per mile ridden and in 2012, 328 motorcyclists died and 5,000 were seriously injured in road collisions in Great Britain. But perhaps some of the money properly spent on avoiding fatalities involving motorcyclists with slogans like ‘Think Biker, Think Bike’ should also be spent on educating that minority of nuisance riders of their responsibilities to residents living on routes they wish to ride.
Perhaps the slogan should be altered a little to: ‘Think Biker, Think Residents‘.
Horndean Matters gives me a good platform to be clearly visible with views and opinions, but the rest of the District and Parish Councillors are also working hard to support and fight local issues. The White Dirt Farm application by Taylor Wimpey where they have persisted in linking the development with the wrong Parish Council is one issue that has clearly, and understandably irritated Horndean Parish Council who will become the authority who are responsible for the electorate, provision of service, and partly accountable for any Section 106 funds ( Developers Contributions) if any permission is granted.
At the exhibition Taylow Wimpey assured me they would hold a proper consultation in Horndean, but as of yet they have not followed up with proposals to achieve this.
In the meantime the text from The News website following Horndean Parish Council’s letter to the paper is below as is a link to Horndean Parish Council’s letter:
A FURIOUS parish council has criticised a developer for holding a public consultation about a proposed development in Horndean – in Clanfield. Controversial proposals are in place to build 220 homes on ancient chalk downland at White Dirt Farm. But despite the development being in Horndean parish, developer Taylor Wimpey held a public exhibition at Clanfield Memorial Hall. A strongly-worded letter has been sent from Horndean Parish Council to the company.
It said: ‘The parish council wonders why Taylor Wimpey commissioned a company (Turley Associates) to invite residents to a presentation and consultation in a village hall in Clanfield, an adjoining parish, for a development that they are planning in Horndean? ‘There are five large community halls in the parish of Horndean but none were approached to host this exhibition. ‘There are only two in Clanfield, but the consultants chose the Clanfield Memorial Hall’. ‘The reason put forward by Turley Associates was that this hall was the closest to the field in question but this is incorrect.’
More than 600 people attended the exhibition last month.
As of yesterday, Taylor Wimpey’s website still referred to White Dirt Farm being in Clanfield.
East Hampshire District Council’s list of potential housing sites refers to it being in Horndean.
The letter states that the farm is a local gap and prevents the merging of Horndean, Catherington and Clanfield. It adds that there are other housing sites that are earmarked for development – such as Hazleton Farm and Pyle Farm on the other side of the A3 – that would be considered by residents as more appropriate for development. The letter adds: ‘The vast majority of people in the surrounding communities do not want the field at White Dirt Farm to be built over. ‘There are other better and more suitable sites which can be considered to meet Horndean’s new housing contribution for the years up to 2028.’
A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said: ‘Our public consultation event at Clanfield Memorial Hall, which is approximately 1.5 miles from the development site, was extremely well-attended, with more than 600 people coming along to find out more about our proposals. ‘The consultation as widely publicised in advance in the local press and with a letter drop to the 1,350 residents living closest to the proposed development site, and we are currently processing the feedback.’
In the last few days a company has started Site Investigation works at White Dirt Farm which has understandable caused concern from neighbours wondering if they have missed something and work is imminently about to begin.
In short, no planning application has been received, no approvals have been given and there are no plans against which to form any approval, so NO, Taylor Wimpey do not have any permission to carry out ANY development works.
So, what is going on then?
When you are building most of the risk is in the ground, and some investigative works need to be carried out to establish what this means. Examples below:
– Foundation Design. The investigative works will establish the ground bearing capacity so foundations can be designed. On some land this might identify the ground is too poor for conventional foundations, and piling is required. This is very unlikely here, but it may identify soft spots which can affect foundations, or in some cases the layout of the houses to avoid areas of poor ground.
– Ground Contaminants. As farmland the ground will be high in Phosphates, Nitrites and other fertilizers. Depending on the quantity it may be necessary to import a minimum depth of fresh top soil to the lawns and boarders of the new properties. If the land has been used for other purposes in the past then there may be other contaminants present which might become an issue. This is more the case in industrial or brown field land.
– Water Table. This will affect the drainage design as most new development will ‘self drain’ to avoid surcharge on the public sewers. The water table is a key factor in this.
Some of this information is also required by the planning authority to be able to verify if a development is suitable (i.e. there is no contamination problem). Parts can be provided after planning is granted, but some is required for planning to be granted on a scheme this size. For the developer the more below ground investigation carried out prior to a planning application, the lower the risk of unexpected, and costly surprises later. It is really a judgement for the developer on how much money to spend ‘at risk’ prior to planning to support their application. If the application is refused then this money is a total loss.
Hopefully the notes above set out why the activity is taking place and give comfort that no decisions have been taken. I will post here when an application is received, any consultation details, and when the application will be heard.
It is unfortunately an indication that Taylor Wimpey, despite significant lobbying behind the scenes, will be progressing with an application, but we have no reason to believe this will be any different to the timescale they gave us at their consultations which was: “Application Mid May, but this may slip based on feedback from the consultation”. If an application is received in Mid May, then it will be heard by a planning committee Mid to Late July.
Thank you to Andy Stevens and Toby from Twitter (@MrWayobt) for kind permission to use their photos.
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"The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero, 55 BC