5 comments on “White Dirt Farm Site Investigation

  1. It seems that Taylor Wimpy have reneged on their promise to hold a consultation meeting in the correct parish “Horndean”.

    They say that local residents received written notice of the meeting held in Clanfield, to my knowledge this is not true. If they couldn’t work out which parish the land is in I suppose it is no surprise that they couldn’t identify addresses of local residents.

  2. It was a welcome gesture from EHDC Planners to let the Community have its say on future housing in Horndean and quite clearly development of White Dirt Farm was a very unpopular proposal. If Taylor Wimpey persist with an application which, from all indications, should be rejected by EHDC Planning they would probably go to appeal in the knowledge that Local Authorities rarely continue the fight. However, in view of the clear democratic message to EHDC from the Merchistoun consultation, can we rely on EHDC to assure Taylor Wimpey that an appeal would be fought tooth and nail? Having asked the people for their opinion, surely EHDC cannot ignore it?

    • Hi Gerry, Thank you for the comment, The data from the consultation will be used in the assessment of planning applications for Horndean to help support development where the community wants, and will be used as evidence considered by the case officers under the assessment of the social weighting of an application. The application for White Dirt Farm (if Taylor Wimpey proceed) will have an extremely high hurdle for the environmental impact. they could not have picked a tougher site to satisfy the planners that building would bring in more benefit than the environmental harm. If we can put up a strong enough case to object to any plans then this will be the main hurdle. If Taylor Wimpey appeal, then EHDC can NOT afford to loose. If EHDC DO loose an appeal then costs can be awarded to the developer, and this can run to tens of thousands of pounds. In the event of an appeal, EHDC will throw the kitchen sink at making sure its decision is seen as robust by the planning inspector. For us, the biggest hurdle therefore is the main planning decision itself. Best Wishes, Guy.

      • Hi Guy,
        Thanks for your reply, however it seems as though EHDC want their cake as well as etc. from your argument. If EHDC were to win an appeal it would have cost nothing and the countryside would stay intact plus the mere threat of a fight might discourage TW from proceeding with an application at all.

        If EHDC were to lose, they MIGHT have to pay costs to the tune of tens of £k but they would still receive Council Tax and developer contributions for the 220 houses. Based on my recent bill this would put over £30K into EHDC coffers and nearly £230k into the HCC account for the first year alone. On top of this they would still receive developer contributions for the WDF development which would be worth many tens of £k on their own no doubt, BUT EHDC Planners would lose any respect we in Horndean, Clanfield and Catherington might have for them.

        Sorry, but the sums don’t seem to add up for me.

        Gerry

  3. Hi Gerry,

    The message from EHDC to Taylor Wimpey has very clearly been that if they want to follow up with plans on this site, then will struggle to convince the planners that any development is sustainable. You are right that the best outcome is Taylor Wimpey do not proceed with an application and much effort has gone into this in the last 6 weeks.

    If EHDC looses an appeal and costs are awarded then the money can not just come our of future council tax, the £139 or so a year per house EHDC recieves is fully spent. EHDC pays for the bins at every house to be collected weekly, as well as the services provided in planning, enforcement etc. A fine would come out of EHDC’s money to provide services, and that is our money. Worse yet, if the council has a poor track record in planning decisions then applicants can then apply directly to the planning inspectorate, bypassing the planning authority completely.

    The final issue is the worst. If an application is rejected, there is clearly no developers contributions agreement as none would be required. If an application is then granted on appeal, the developers contributions the developer pays are a fraction of the amount if the scheme were approved by the planning authority. This is an even bigger loss to the community.

    Ultimately we need Taylor Wimpey to either not proceed (notes above) and if they do to be able to very convincingly reject the application at a planning committee robustly enough that it will stand up at appeal.

    If Taylor Wimpey do proceed and stick to their original timescale, then we will see an application in 4 to 6 weeks time and then can start to work out how best to object to it.

    Best wishes,

    Guy.

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