A short while ago the LEOH (Land East Of Horndean) development was given outline planning approval. Over the next 12 to 24 months the developer will be working up their detailed plans for the development and we need to ensure these contain the best community facilities that we can design in, as well as following up on highways issues, employment and other areas.
The land sits within Horndean Parish as well as Rowlands Castle Parish so both Parish Councils have an interest in this development as well as East Hants and all are very keen to ensure the best opportunities are made of this development for the local community. We also have lessons that can be learned from Green lane in Clanfield where similar facilities were secured and are now in the process of being delivered. It is also important that what we design in does not undermine existing facilities but caters for the new development and brings in new opportunities for everyone South of Butser.
To manage this, I have set up a Development Panel of local Parish and District Councillors which will coordinate the local views and ensure the design develops to best support the community and that the widest views are taken on board. This includes the advice of an Architect to help ensure the facilities are well designed. We will also draw in officers from EHDC to help on the communities, employment and sustainability side where appropriate.
A very key part of this though is community input and over the coming months there will be several opportunities to have your say. This will include what the community building should offer, the detail of the other community facilities and more.
Just over a year ago we held a ‘Where to build’ housing consultation and this was very well attended. 90% of the people that do come to these events though are over 50. We are keen to hear from residents of all age groups and would encourage all of you to attend these events. If you have a view, and do not go, then it will not be heard. These consultations will be announced in the local papers, through the Parish Councils, via community groups and online here too.
As well as what the community building should offer, we need to consider the multiple uses for the cricket pitches and pavilion. Ultimately these are playing fields for suitable sports and it is hoped a club will come forward to help take this forward. Opportunities to register your interest will be available at the consultations.
Away from the community facilities there are many other areas that we will be working on to ensure we get the best we can. These are detailed below:
The plans show an area for shops. One possibility is a horse shoe layout with ground floor convenience store, café, restaurant, etc and first floor professional services. We want to make sure any new retail does not undermine the existing shops in the villages but provides a local service and perhaps brings in new offerings.
The care home, school and retail area may provide up to 200 jobs but we want to make sure we get the best out of the employment site which is 1.8 Hectares. For this reason the infrastructure in this area is required to be delivered with the first homes so that businesses can be built and people can live and work in the same community. We are not looking for big industrial units like Hazleton interchange but perhaps an enterprise building, smaller workshops for small businesses and possible a medium size employer. Horndean has a professional and well qualified population so the starting point is job opportunities that match and bring in some local wealth.
The new development brings in a Primary School. This has the potential to address the growing need as well as relieving the current over subscribed schools in the community. We will be working with HCC to ensure there is a robust plan and that the school land and construction is available at the right time to meet the need.
Funds are allocated in the Section 106 agreement for improvements to local roads and footpaths. The planning committee referred to a report which suggested only 10 cars per hour would leave the development and head South down Havant Road. This needs now to be properly assessed and prior to detailed planning being considered a more robust view taken and any improvements firmly planned in.
Crossing the A3M at the junction is hazardous. The development will provide funds to improve the junction incorporate ‘on demand’ traffic lights. As local councillors we know from experience that we (and predecessors) had strong views against the Catherington Lane traffic lights and the narrowing of London Road outside the Gales Development. We will want the plans for this development to be appropriate and well thought out as they evolve to not hinder vehicular access to the motorway.
Footpaths, connectivity and 50 acres of open space:
The development will allow funding for interconnectivity to Horndean, Havant Thicket and Cowplain over the existing motorway bridge. The layout of these paths, how they network and connect and enable access to the 50 acres of open space is going to be key and is a great opportunity for the public to be involved in shaping this.
First and Stagecoach are interested in large, busy and profitable routes. We live in a semi rural area and this limits the affordability of these to the big companies, however there is no reason why we cannot have better networks with lower cost operators. The new development wants to have this designed in, and EHDC are looking at how we provide a smaller network of local buses in the community.
The development has a major impact on the properties that border it and it is important that we work to mitigate this. The developer has agreed to hold discussions with local residents and home owners to take on board as best possible comments about the design as it develops. For the detailed planning applications we can expect to see the developer hold their own consultation on the appearance and design of the new buildings. Of particular importance will be accessibility and screening from the roads.
Further planning conditions:
As the detailed applications are submitted further planning conditions will also be applied. These will give us the opportunity to ensure issues like the construction impact are minimised. Examples would be a condition requiring the developer to prepare a construction vehicle access strategy that shows how construction traffic will not queue on the roads around the development. That contractors must park on the development site and not on surrounding roads. That provision is in place for road sweepers to keep the roads clean.
All of these (and a lot more) will be going through the Panel, Parish Councils and also public consultation at Special Community Forums. The next 12 to 24 months is going to be an exciting opportunity to get the best we can for South of Butser and we very much hope you will come to the Parish Meetings and Community Consultations when they are announced and help give input into the community side of the development as the plans progress.
Cllr Guy Shepherd, Southern Parishes Portfolio Holder