Warnings of ‘gridlock’ from village centre homes plan

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The access point onto Lymington Road has been branded dangerous by residents

SAFETY concerns over an access onto Lymington Road in Milford have persuaded parish councillors to continue resisting plans to demolish a property and replace it with four new homes.

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The dwelling, known as Merlin, off Lymington Road, was left to a pair of charities which want to redevelop the site to maximise the profits that can be reinvested back into their work.

The scheme for one detached and three terraced homes and one detached would go behind the row of businesses in High Street and Barnes Lane, at the top of a narrow access linking to the two roads at either end.

The proposal has previously been considered and rejected by New Forest District Council amid concerns about its impact on the character and appearance of the area and the living conditions of neighbours.

However, although a subsequent planning appeal was rejected, the only grounds given by the appeal inspector related to New Forest District Council’s approach to mitigating the impact on a nearby nature conservation.

An identical application has now been submitted proposing that a terrace of three dwellings be built on the north of the site in almost the same position as the existing dwelling.

It would use an existing access onto the Lymington Road which is shared with the properties at South Court and the dentist.

Car parking would be provided in front of the homes. The proposed terrace of three houses would have short rear garden areas, with the two end units having side gardens. It is also proposed to retain an open area to the south-west which would be used by residents.

However, neighbours are strongly opposed to the scheme, warning that the property’s long, single-width access road would be a recipe for traffic problems – creating a danger that cars would be forced to reverse onto the busy Lymington Road.

Speaking at the parish meeting, neighbour Monica Murfitt revealed neighbours had commissioned their own independent traffic survey, which supported the concerns raised by residents.

Ms Murfitt said: “If this goes ahead we will be left with the following chaos. When faced with gridlock drivers forced to reverse down the road, endangering pedestrians.”

She said that when it was built, the single track was solely used to access Merlin but since then it had become an access route for a busy dental practice and residents of the South Court flats.

She said: “There has been a huge increase in traffic with daily deliveries from supermarkets, postal and service contractors and, of course, there are any requirements for access for emergency services.”

The meeting heard that the additional traffic created by three additional houses would put lives at risk.

Cllr Matt Goode told the meeting he had “serious and ongoing concerns over the highways access”.

Cllr Bob Bishop warned: “It is pretty clear that this in an ongoing war of attrition against these guys but if it is not acceptable we should be at the planning committee meeting to oppose this.”

Parish councillors recommended refusal of the scheme which is now set to be examined by New Forest District Council’s planning committee on 15th January.

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