A PARISH council is objecting “in the strongest possible terms” to plans to develop Fawley power station amid rising fears of the impact on the roads of 1,500 new homes.
Marchwood councillors voiced their opposition in a consultation response to New Forest District Council, which is currently considering an outline application from Fawley Waterside Ltd.
Members said that although they supported the principle of building on the site, which ceased operations in 2013, the transport plans were “wholly inadequate”.
They echoed similar congestion concerns raised about the nearly £1bn scheme by the Friends of the New Forest conservation group – but stopped short of backing its call for the site be returned to agricultural use.
Despite accepting access to the proposed development via the B3053, the parish council said Fawley Waterside Ltd’s plans to upgrade junctions to cope with the increase in vehicles will do “absolutely nothing to alleviate the pre-existing bottleneck at Marchwood”.
They said: “Here the A326 is already at maximum capacity during rush hours and traffic diverts onto village roads at times of peak congestion.
“This has the consequence of placing school children from the adjacent infant school at an entirely unnecessary and avoidable risk.
“In its current form this proposal has made wholly inadequate transport provisions and will only exacerbate the well-known traffic issues in Marchwood.”
It concluded: “Therefore the parish council objects in the strongest possible terms to this planning application as currently worded.”
The development is expected to add 3,250 new residents as well as create 2,000 jobs, according to the application.
Works include upgrades to junctions the full length of the A326 – but the last of those is only expected to be finished by 2036.
The A&T asked Fawley Waterside Ltd for the size of its planned budget for road improvements but it declined to provide a figure.
A spokesperson said: “Fawley Waterside have undertaken a detailed traffic assessment of the A326 and developed a set of junction improvements that have been agreed with Hampshire County Council.
“The evidence shows that the junction improvements will mitigate the impact of new traffic and reduce delays on the network to lower than they would be in the future without the development.”