Developer promises half of planned 74 new homes will be affordable

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The plan for 72 Fordingbridge homes

A DEVELOPER has submitted a bid to build 74 homes on land in Fordingbridge with a pledge to make half of them affordable.

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Metis Homes’ proposal (pictured) covers a 3.98-hectare site to the northern edge of the town and includes an access via the A338 Salisbury Road, plus parking and landscaping.

The plan submitted to New Forest District Council will see the demolition of a block of garages and a property on the site known as Burgate Acres.

A spokesman for Metis Homes said the developer was “pleased” to submit the bid, pointing out it was the product of two years “extensive” consultation with stakeholders.

“The site is identified as a suitable location for residential development in the emerging New Forest Local Plan, and Metis’s plans will deliver much-needed new homes, as well as improved, safe access and connectivity for vehicles in a highly sustainable location.”

He added: “Our plans will also help protect sensitive greenfield land within the New Forest by building on an identified residential site, and will retain the existing mature landscape setting, complemented with additional tree planting.”

The site lies to the north of the Burgate School campus and was earmarked for development in NFDC’s Local Plan. That document outlines where thousands of homes will be built in the New Forest until 2036.

In a planning statement, Metis Homes said the development would consist of “small clusters” of detached, semi-detached, short terrace or linked groups of buildings.

“The housing comprises two, three and four-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom flats, of which 50% will be affordable homes (37 dwellings),” it added.

The document highlighted there will be a “green corridor” linking the site access to an alternative natural recreational greenspace with a dog exercise area, wildflower meadow, grass kick-about space, footpaths and cycleways, natural play area, pond and wooded spots.

It also stated the proposed vehicle access to the north of Burgate School will serve only the southern part of the allocation, claiming that will stop the site becoming a “rat run” and help encourage the use of sustainable travel such as cycling and walking.

As reported in the A&T, the site includes land that Burgate School agreed to sell to Metis Homes. The academy had 21 acres of open space – which trustees said was more than officially required for a school of its size – and the land concerned was off limits to students, having been a wildlife area.

The sale was approved by the Department for Education and, by law, the proceeds must be spent on improving sports facilities.

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