NEW Milton town councillors are objecting to a 16-home proposal on a greenbelt site over the developer’s refusal to provide 100% affordable housing.
The town council’s planning committee registered its opposition to the proposal for land south-east of Spring Lane in Ashley, which had been put forward by AJC Homes, the affordable housing element of Poole-based AJ Developments.
Outline planning permission is being sought from New Forest District Council to build 10 three-bedroom and six two-bedroom properties with associated parking. Five of them needed to be market housing to enable grant funding, said AJC Homes.
However, New Milton’s recent online committee meeting argued that the mix went against NFDC planning policy on rural housing exception sites, where policy can be waived to secure much-needed housing.
Four members of the public also spoke out against it, including Bob Hull from Bob Hull Planning, who was representing a Spring Lane resident. NFDC has also so far received 38 objections.
Speaking to the A&T after the meeting, committee chair Cllr Steve Clarke said the town council expected to see 100% affordable provision in a rural exception site development.
“If a site came forward that was 100% affordable, it would always make us look to see if we thought it can work,” he explained.
“In this case, they haven’t come up with anything we can see that would make that work.”
Other factors which led to the objection included concerns over the potential impact on ecology, fears of heightened traffic and lack of parking, and flood risks due to drainage issues.
AJC Homes’ application said: “The shortfall in the number of affordable homes in New Milton and the wider district can only be addressed through the delivery of supplemental sites that provide affordable housing.
“A rural exception site at Spring Lane/Glen Spey, New Milton, would therefore meet an identified need of local people for affordable housing which cannot be provided in any other way.”
It added that the “high quality design” of the properties would partly reflect the Arts and Crafts style found in the surrounding area.
Consultation for the proposal ended last Tuesday, and NFDC is due to make a decision by 11th February. Even if the outline scheme is approved, details would have to get the go-ahead in a further application before construction could begin.
* This article has been amended from an earlier version which incorrectly stated Bob Hull was representing New Milton Residents’ Association