MORE than 150 objections have been lodged against plans to redevelop the former Fawley power station with 1,500 new homes.
Concerns about the near-£1bn scheme has grown amid fears that a new community at the end of the A326 will swamp the already-busy route.
After years of planning by development consortium Fawley Waterside Ltd, the masterplans were submitted in May. They have sparked public demands for major work to prevent congestion, as reported in the A&T.
One Fawley resident wrote: “There would be a big increase in pollution due to traffic being bumper-to-bumper, which would cause an adverse effect to health.”
A Blackfield objector added: “The schools, doctors, dentists, fire service and police would also be put under immense stress.”
Others pointed to the impact on the environment, noise and the risk to residents of sea-level rises.
Strong opposition came from Bernard Austin, planning chair of the Friends of the New Forest (formerly the New Forest Association).
He wrote: “Placing 1,500 homes with an estimated 3,500 residents and increasing the park population by approximately 10% at the wrong end of an already stressed A326 transport corridor between nationally important coast and countryside will have a severe recreational and traffic impact on the Forest with disturbance to habitat and livestock.”
Hampshire County Council, the highways authority, said it needed more information about the potential impact on the roads and the design before it could give a recommendation.
It also noted that although a 345-pupil primary school was part of the proposals, it had not yet been confirmed as necessary.
None of the local parish councils consulted has objected, including Hythe and Dibden, Marchwood, and Ashurst and Colbury.
However, each echoed the demand of Fawley Parish Council for “major improvements” to the A326. Netley Marsh councillors warned of lorries diverting through their patch to avoid snarl-ups.
There were 13 letters of support, including one from ABP, which owns Southampton docks and wants to redevelop Dibden Bay into a container terminal. It pointed to the likely business and economic benefits.
Fawley Waterside Ltd has promised to invest in improving junctions on the A326 to increase capacity, and the creation of an “effective and efficient public and private transport system”.
The development itself is being designed to encourage people to leave their cars at home, it says, with hopes of reopening the Waterside railway line to passengers and launching a ferry service connecting the new settlement with Hythe and Southampton.
The scheme has been submitted in two parts because the site straddles the jurisdictions of New Forest District Council and the national park authority.
The smallest of the two, containing 120 homes within the NPA’s area, provoked the most opposition with 96 objections, compared with 60 lodged with NFDC. The deadline has now passed for public comments.
Even if allowed by the NPA and NFDC, the outline plans must be approved before construction can begin.
As well as 1,500 new homes, the overall scheme includes a primary school, business units, public open space, working docks and a 10-storey centrepiece building, plus a 2,100-space car park.
It includes demolition of the landmark 650ft chimney and the old control buildings and turbine hall, which has already been agreed by NFDC.