4 comments on “Land East Of Horndean Submitted

  1. Guy, I had not previously realised that the site also included land north of Rowlands Castle Road. Is this newly added or was it always the case? Thanks, Jan

  2. Hi Jan. Good question. The Land East Of Horndean consultations have always shown building to the north of Rowlands castle road. On the right hand side of this blog there is a box of categories. One of these is ‘Land East Of Horndean’. If you click on this link it will show both sets of consultation plans and their final plan which have been submitted. A number of people are under the impression the sticker on the map consultation was held by the LEOH developers, it was not. This was an event organised by EHDC to build up evidence for community view, to help guide where to steer development and has been used to develop the allocation plan. I hope that helps! Guy.

  3. Hello Guy,

    There are some people who live on the fringes of Horndean who are horrified at the prospect of this development which will ruin ancient countryside for ever. I have emailed the following to the case officer at EHDC, but thought I would also put it up on your blog as you have discussed this proposed scheme often. My reasons for unequivocal objection are as follows:

    Public consultations
    At the consultation day put on by EHDC at Merchistoun Hall in Horndean earlier this year, the public were invited to put stickers where they would most like any development to take place. Overwhelmingly the stickers were placed on the southernmost site (Site C) at Hazleton Farm. It was NOT made clear that all three sites were to be one single application. Thinking that there was a choice between the three sites, virtually NOBODY opted for the site north of the Rowlands Castle Road. At the subsequent consultation day put on by WYG at Napier Hall, we were told that local opinion had been taken into account and the design of the proposed development had been altered as a result. However, the overall project still included all three separate sites as one development. This representation was dishonest and disingenuous nonsense. If EHDC knew all along that the 3 sites were all part of a single development it should have been made clear at the original consultation. We feel cheated by this subterfuge.

    Policy guidance
    The Planning Policy Guidance advises that the requirement for EIA is more likely where “the development would have significant urbanising effects in a previously non urbanised area (e.g. a new development of more than 1,000 dwellings).” In this case, the development includes employment land, a school, a care home and sports facilities. Taken cumulatively, this, together with 700 dwellings, would exceed the indicated threshold of 1000 dwellings. It would have significant urbanising effects on the village of Horndean, which is at present designated ‘a semi-rural village’. The magnitude of the development and the resulting changes will represent huge environmental effects for the purposes of the EIA regulations.

    Local wildlife and ecology
    The landscape north of the Rowlands Castle Road has very high amenity value and vital ecological value which will be destroyed for ever if this part of the development goes ahead. It would irreversibly destroy a small corner of ancient rural Hampshire where children ride ponies, families walk with their dogs, horses graze, and ramblers ramble. The fields are currently used for grazing and there is a ‘super highway’ of endangered Bechstein bats on the proposed development site. Badgers and deer inhabit the hedgerows and copses. Pattersons Lane at present characterises deep rural Hampshire. The lane abuts the west boundary of the South Downs National Park , and forms the approach to the SDNP which starts a few metres north of Hook Cottage. Blendworth Conservation Area lies to the north-west, as does Cadlington House, a grade II listed building. Hook Cottage in Patterson’s lane is listed Grade 2 and has enormous historical interest and value as an old Toll House on an ancient and historically important north/south route. How can its land be flogged off for development by the owner? Is the land not part of its listing? If not, it should be. This is an important historical site which should be preserved for future generations, not separated from its land for a quick profit and then surrounded by development. The owner has recently bulldozed an historic granary on staddle stones (which was probably part of the listing). This he effected during the night so nobody would see and try to prevent it.

    Height of buildings and visibility
    The entire length of the two northernmost sections of the development runs along the boundary of the SDNP. The SDNP is a sensitive designation as defined by regulation 2(1). Given the size of the development (64 ha) and its location abutting this boundary, the scheme will have significant detrimental environmental impacts on that sensitive designation, through destruction of rural views, light pollution, urban and traffic noise.

    The development proposed comprises a range of 2-3 storey buildings at the care home and at the business park and primary school. These buildings will be easily visible from access points along Havant Road, Rowlands Castle Road, Dell Piece East, Pyle Lane, Letcombe and footpaths and bridle ways that cross the site or run adjacent to it. At present there are unobstructed views from Old Blendworth and other points of the SDNP right across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. These views will be destroyed forever by the development, especially by these 2 and 3 storey buildings. The proposed development will be highly visible to many people, particularly from the elevated topography on the northern part of the site and the surrounding landform. The design of the two and three storey buildings in the proposed business sector and primary school is so poor that it should be thrown out without further ado.

    Traffic
    Parents taking children to school will be threatened by business traffic entering the employment area during the morning ‘rush hour’, setting up a dangerous potential for accidents. These two elements of the development have been placed dangerously close together on an elevated part of the landscape. Not only will the buildings be visible from miles around but the school will be a dangerous place for children and their parents.

    If this development is allowed to take place, Pattersons Lane, which is single lane with few passing points, will become a ‘rat run’ for drivers in a hurry. The junction with the Rowlands Castle Road (an off-set crossroads on a blind corner) is already dangerous. There is absolutely no sight line for drivers emerging from Pattersons Lane. To lessen the likelihood of an accident, all local drivers approach the junction as if to turn left when they intend to turn right. This will become a disaster waiting to happen. Already people are driving too fast down this lane, and a dog was killed outright last week by a truck.

    Proximity to the SDNP
    The SDNP was created to “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area”. This project seeks to ram housing development right up to the boundary of the SDNP down nearly the whole of the eastern flank of all three sites. To allow development right up to this boundary will seriously compromise the ethos of the sensitive designation of the park. It would have a serious impact not only on the SDNP itself but would also compromise the gap between the three villages of Horndean, Blendworth and Rowlands Castle. Surely a gap should remain a proper gap if these places are to retain their separate identities and not to become one suburban sprawl?

    Care Home
    The design of the proposed care home is totally inappropriate architecturally for this rural area. Its scale and bulk will be visible from the higher vantage points further to the north in the South Downs National Park. Again, views from the SDNP should be taken into consideration. Old Blendworth is in the park and sits in an elevated position at the top of Pattersons Lane. The amenity value is enjoyed by large numbers of walkers and horse riders throughout the year. Most of the proposed buildings will be visible from there. Future generations will no longer be able to enjoy the long views that they do at present. Is it not the responsibility of the council to protect these ancient places? I see that Old Blendworth has several ‘Designated Heritage Assets’ and ‘Areas of Archaeological Potential’. This building project is getting perilously close to these sites. How can we trust you to protect them in the future?

    The elderly people living in the care home and its supporting sheltered housing will be isolated from both the old centre of Horndean and the proposed new centre. It is an idiotic concept to put old people so far from the places that they will need to visit, ie shops, pub, bus stops, post office etc. Has anybody from the council or the development companies walked from the proposed care home site to the proposed new centre? Old people would find the steep rise on the way to the proposed new centre impossible to negotiate, and the distance to the old centre much too great. This will mean that the old folk will be isolated in their care home, and unable to access any local amenities. The same will apply to the sheltered bungalows on the same site as the care home. The care home should have been part of the two major developments currently underway in the existing centre of Horndean.

    ‘Second centre’
    The whole concept of creating ‘a second centre’ is totally objectionable. The shopping precinct in the old centre of Horndean needs a great deal of attention – it is rundown, drab and dingy. BUT the war memorial, the pub, the post office, the new GP Surgery and the new Spar shop and pharmacy are all important elements of a thriving village centre. There is much to be built on here. Instead of creating a new, untried centre, the existing centre of Horndean could do with a Petersfield type treatment with pedestrian cobbled areas and better lighting and street furniture. The Remembrance Day service had the largest attendance ever this year, with about 1000 people clustered around the War Memorial. This attests the strong community spirit in Horndean. The proposed development will split it in half, and overload the existing infrastructure. Where are the (at least) 1400 residents of 700 new houses (in addition to the many already recently built) going to work? There is high unemployment in Portsmouth now that the Royal Navy has been so drastically scaled down. One business/industrial park is not going to provide anything like the employment needs of all the new residents. Each new house is likely to have at least 2 cars. The added pollution can only be imagined as everybody travels by car to their place of employment. These matters have not been adequately addressed in the rush to develop Horndean into a town.

    Indeed it was only a few years ago that the Parish Council published a document which undertook, on behalf of local people, NOT to allow more development. How are we to trust our councils?

    Now that the field next to the Keydell nursery has been built over, should development in Horndean not be limited to the Keydell site which is sure to become available for development at some time in the future? Sir Simon Jenkins (the outgoing Chairman of the National Trust), in his heartfelt plea to councils to stop destroying our beautiful landscape, states that there are brownfield sites in our cities up and down the country which could easily provide space for 5 million new homes. That is where the jobs are, and the infrastructure to support domestic development, in the cities, NOT in rural Hampshire.

    We have been threatened with the idea that if this application for development of the care home and sheltered housing north of the Rowlands Castle road is turned down, the developers will only be back and next time the application might be for denser housing and a much larger proportion of social housing. Is this how developments are now forced through, by threatening and bullying the local residents into accepting ill considered and badly designed schemes?

    We know that councils are under pressure to provide space for enormous amounts of new housing. But it is at least as important for councils to protect the outstanding nature of their rural heritage and come up with more imaginative schemes in city centres, and areas which are already part of the built environment. Councils should also be guardians of our precious landscape for future generations, NOT facilitators for big business to pour concrete over our green and pleasant land. Speaking to The Sunday Times only last week, Sir Simon Jenkins said of David Cameron the Prime Minister: “He pledged there that he would no more put the countryside at risk than his own family. But he has, in that he has allowed his Chancellor, George Osborne, and Eric Pickles, as Local Government and Communities Secretary, to ruin the countryside. We are witnessing the disenfranchisement of rural Britain.” Sir Simon called for a new grading system of Britain’s countryside to better protect it, with national parks receiving the highest grade, farmland with scenic significance the second, green belt the third and other land spread across four lower grades. If this system were already in place, there would be no question of developing most of the land in this application.

    If there is nothing we can do to prevent this disaster, there are certain conditions which we feel are vital and for which provision MUST be made:

    A The northern boundary of the site north of the Rowlands Castle Road, currently part of Hook Cottage property, should be changed to exclude from the proposed development the ‘finger’ projection of land. This will create a more natural boundary and reduce the potential for further development in the future on the SDNP boundary.

    B The site MUST be legally protected from further infill development or any increase in development density.

    C EHDC/Horndean PC must insist on being granted ownership of critical ‘ransom strips’ to protect the area from future developments. How is the cricket pitch to be protected from future development if and when it is decided that it is too expensive to be maintained? What other uses might be contemplated that will not involve buildings?

    We must not let a rash of ill-considered housing schemes overwhelm our villages. It is happening all over the country. The diktat from central government has opened the floodgates for greedy developers to ride roughshod over our countryside with no accountability. Once the development is complete, they vanish and local people are left to live with the terrible consequences.

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