A DEVELOPER has unveiled plans to build 140 homes on the edge of Pennington with a promise that half of them will be “affordable”.
Bargate Homes said the large estate will be built in two phases on a site to the south of the A337 Milford Road in Pennington.
The first phase of 110 houses is due to be submitted to New Forest District Council in October following a public consultation.
The company said on its website there is a “pressing need for new homes in Pennington and the wider New Forest” due to a shortage of low-cost housing. It cited the neighbouring national park as the most expensive in the country to buy a property.
Bargate, which is based in Fair Oak, has delivered leaflets to Pennington residents outlining its proposal. It will include two and three-storey houses, children’s play areas, landscaping and a new vehicle access to the busy A337.
The plot on which it wants to build is the southern part of Strategic Site 5 (SS5), comprising two parcels of land on almost opposite sides of the A337.
In the new Local Plan of development policies outside the national park, approved in July this year, NFDC has allocated SS5 for at least 185 homes. The smaller, northern section is for 45 homes and the southern one, which is the target of Bargate, for 140.
Bargate’s website said it builds only in “beautiful areas” – but councillors have already raised concerns at a meeting about flooding and smells from a sewage plant near the area.
They were also worried about how the housing estate would impact on traffic on the A337.
Cllr Jack Davies, who represents Pennington on NFDC, told the A&T: “This is the only proposal put forward so far for the south site area of SS5. It is a very problematic site.
“It is prone to flooding at one edge and there are also fears that there could be scent drifts from the sewage plant at the back of it.
“What councillors were most concerned about at the meeting were the traffic issues the development could cause on the Milford Road.
“It was felt that the company had not provided enough information and that there was still a lot which councillors need to know about the company’s proposals.”
Bargate said it will widen footpaths near the development to encourage pedestrians and reduce car dependency. It also said it will use an urban drainage system to double as a flood prevention measure.
Some residents have welcomed the plans by Bargate, whose parent company Vivid is one of the largest housing associations in the UK.
But others have raised concerns that an outline of Phase 1 of the development printed in the consultation leaflet showed 110 homes on just over half of the site closest to the road – suggesting the other half would take just 30 in Phase 2.
Some residents fear this means that after gaining approval for Phase 1 Bargate would look to increase the number of houses on the remainder of the plot.
Local resident Niki Tindall said: “The information in the pamphlet is extremely vague. What we need to know is exactly how many houses there are going to be, where they are going, what the mix of them is and what they are going to look like.
“Also, although the company says there will be 50% affordable housing, what we have
seen with other developments before is that when it comes to it that figure goes down.”
Donald McKenzie, from civic group the Lymington Society, told the A&T: “We understand that the plans show a total of 110 houses on slightly more than the southern parcel of the site which would appear to indicate that the company might be intending to increase the number of homes on the site compared with the allocation of 140 originally agreed in the Local Plan.”
He said the involvement of Vivid would hopefully mean that part of the land would be used for social housing. But he added that any increase in homes could “lead to a cramped overdevelopment of the site”.
Resident Adele Carroll, who has family with a home backing onto the site, said: “Additionally, this part of the A337 is already heavily congested and an accident black spot.”
The plans have been welcomed by some residents, with one posting on social media: “More homes are needed for locals. Have lived here all my life, and on the housing list pretty much all that comes up is Totton, Calmore, Hythe.
“I would love to stay and raise my family in the town I grew up in.”
Bargate did not respond to the A&T’s request for a formal comment.
To find out more visit www.bargatehomespennington.com