Developer unveils housing bid for former village relief road route

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Highcliffe homes
Brentland Ltd director Chris Bulstrode at the site off Jesmond Avenue, Highcliffe

A MAJOR new development of more than 50 homes has been unveiled for a strip of woodland once designated as a village relief road.

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An outline planning application has been submitted to build 18 detached luxury bungalows and two blocks of flats in Highcliffe on an area south of Jesmond Avenue, behind the medical centre off the A337 Lymington Road.

The proposals submitted to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council are from Brentland Ltd for land once owned by the grandfather of company director Peter Boyland.

It was compulsorily purchased in the 1960s by Hampshire County Council which intended to build a spur road to bypass Highcliffe.

But the road was never built and in 2015 the company – previously known as Boyland and Son Ltd – bought back the land.

It now intends to implement the original plan which was to build housing on the land, currently a mixture of trees and dense undergrowth.

Highcliffe homes
Plan for 50 homes off Jesmond Avenue in Highcliffe

Christopher Bulstrode, director of Brentland Ltd, told the A&T: “Boyland bought the whole Wolhayes/Marydale area and from the 1950s to 1970s developed it into the Wolhayes Garden Estate.

“This included luxury bungalows on Jesmond Avenue, opposite which it was planned to continue the estate but this was halted by the compulsory purchase.

“For years the people in Jesmond Avenue had to live with the fear of having a very busy road built right opposite them. This has affected their house prices and in some cases led to them struggling to sell at all.

“Now that fear has been lifted completely and they will have a luxury development in front of them which will be landscaped so there will still be plenty of greenery and trees.”

He promised land north of Lymington Road would have a seven-metre “green corridor” which has been agreed with Natural England to provide habitats for wildlife.

Mr Bulstrode said he did not know why Hampshire Country Council – which Highcliffe was then controlled by – never built the road, which they finally announced in 2007 was not going ahead.

He said Brentland Ltd had been battling to get the land back since the early 1980s.

It finally succeeded under what is known as Crichel Down Rules which allow land acquired by, or under a threat of, compulsion to be offered back to former owners.

Mr Bulstrode said he believed the new development would benefit Highcliffe by bringing “much needed new housing stock to the market and helping to regenerate the village”.

He said: “People living there will be spending in the High Street shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

“There will be no significant traffic generated from the site as there will not be a road leading from the development, just three walkways which lead straight to the village centre.

“The area as it is has not been used as it is totally overgrown. It was just a mess before we started clearing it.

“But we realise people in Jesmond Avenue have had a lovely view of trees for the last 50-odd years which is why we have been very careful to landscape the new development with plenty of trees and hedges.”

He said the 18 luxury chalet bungalows will all have their own garages and parking spaces.

One block of 15 flats, which will be two to three bedrooms, will be for private rent. The other block of 21 apartments will be for affordable housing and shared ownership. They will all have designated parking spaces.

Mr Bulstrode said the blocks would be “only two or three storeys high” and trees would hide them from the road, adding: “They won’t be horrible tower blocks.”

He said the company was expecting opposition to the plans but is encouraging residents to approach them with feedback saying: “We are willing to listen to people’s concerns.”

He said he hoped locals would appreciate the fact that there was now going to be an “at-tractive” development instead of a road, adding: “They were only ever the two options for this plot of land.”

Mr Bulstrode said that if the company’s application was turned down they could be forced to sell the land to a housing association, which “could use it for building high density housing”.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. NO, NO, NO!! Stop destroying our village with flats and unnecessary luxury housing!! Not required. No doubt it will be passed as he appears to feel that he has some god given right to be able to develop this land. Total farce.

  2. Fails to mention this is his 4th attempt at getting planning permission, with the previous three failing for many reasons, including flood risk and impact to the environment and wildlife. This whole area is designated a green corridor, not just a 7m strip, and the whole site is now protected by a Tree Protection Order. Develop brown field sites before destroying the last protected wooded area in central highcliffe.

  3. Is this guy for real?? He is trying to convince people that this is going to be of benefit to Highcliffe – it is not. His firm are profiteering at the expense of Highcliffe and destroying what little natural green area is left. He states ‘For years the people in Jesmond Avenue had to live with the fear of having a very busy road built right opposite them. This has affected their house prices and in some cases led to them struggling to sell at all.

    “Now that fear has been lifted completely and they will have a luxury development in front of them which will be landscaped so there will still be plenty of greenery and trees.’

    No Mr Bulstrode, they currently face a lovely wooded area and have not lived in fear of a road being built as the council abandoned those planes in 2007. What they will face now is looking at a overdeveloped plot of land with insufficient car parking. It was never really going to be a road. They will now struggle to sell their houses with these plans. He also states there are only 2 options for the land (Houses or a road) but actually there are 3. It could be left to do what it does best which is provide a natural break in the landscape and provide a home to some wonderful wildlife.

    As for the last comment ‘Mr Bulstrode said that if the company’s application was turned down they could be forced to sell the land to a housing association, which could use it for building high density housing.’ Please don’t threaten the residents of Highcliffe.

  4. Christopher Bulstrode
    Our company purchased this building land in 1954 and sold it to Hampshire County Council under compulsory purchase for a relief road in 1965 there were few mature trees, the ones that were, will remain. The fact that not one person walked or used the land for 50 years, Chewton Common is within 500 yds to the East, New Forest with 222 sq Miles is within one mile, negates the argument this building land (zoned for sustainable development by BCP) all of a sudden, as Daniel commented, has become “protected woodland”.
    It is our intention to continue what our parent company started and create high quality properties which will compliment the ones built in Jesmond Ave.
    As an aside it is interesting to note not one of these comments come from anyone adjoining this site or who would be affected by it, but just object for the sake of objecting to anything constructive or positive.

    • How exactly do you know who used to use this land and when? A huge assumption on your part. And no, the fact there are green spaces within a few miles does not negate the argument. Like it or not, the fact remains that this is a green corridor and a large portion is now protected under a TPO. The area is a flood risk, and removing any further trees will only exacerbate the issue.

      Also, you’re wrong on your final assumption, stating that “none of these comments come from anyone adjoining this site or who would be affected by it” – I live on Jesmond avenue, so yes, it does affect me and has done since you put up the green hoarding without permission in January 2016. By the way, good to see this has now been taken down. Please ensure these panels and all materials are removed from the site asap, including the concrete bases (which are still there in the ground). This was clearly laid out in the enforcement notice, & was supposed to be complete by the end of last week. Thank you.

  5. Oh and one more thing there were 66 Likes to the fine article written by the Advertiser.
    CB

  6. Mr Bulstrode, you are once again wrong. My property overlooks the site and we will be affected by it. Yes I accept that people cannot walk in the woodland, but you are conveniently forgetting all the wildlife that lives in it. The New Forest does not support this kind of wildlife, you sadly have a complete lack of understanding of the impact this proposed development would have. Jesmond Avenue is already a car park during the day used by people working or shopping in Highcliffe. On the basis that each bungalow and flat would have at least 2 cars, I am assuming you are providing over 100 car parking spaces ? if not you are going to create even further problems for an already congested road. You are profiteering at the expense of Highcliffe residents, cramming in as many homes as you can. It is not welcome in Highcliffe.

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