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.
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.
Please feel free to leave any comments on this post for everyone to see and they will also be passed onto the developers.