SIR – I was not very happy with the general question posed by Sarah Kelly in the lead letter in last week’s A&T: “Would you all prefer a world that is devoid of any biodiversity and wildlife in our green spaces?”
I doubt if any of us in the New Forest area has this view, and I feel sure that this includes Rod England who was castigated in your correspondent’s letter.
Referring to the availability of greenfield (and not so greenfield) sites for building houses, it should be borne in mind that the proportion of such land in England is somewhere between 80% and 90% of the total area. Admittedly, this also includes the great estates, parks and cemeteries.
Certain brownfield sites can be developed for housing, but such sites can be very challenging to develop, due to contamination of the ground, site clearance, including demolition and relocation of existing services. These sites are unlikely to be economic for building affordable housing.
The residents of Milford are indeed upset about the possible overdevelopment of a field released for building houses. However, if the number of proposed properties were to be significantly reduced, and made available for local people at reasonable prices, their understandable objections could be addressed.
Here in Bransgore we have a recently completed development of 100 houses in Derritt Lane, the cost of which are generally well beyond the range of local people. There is also the likelihood of more houses being built close by in the not too distant future, possibly on more than one site.
It seems that in relation to this new development and many other developments under construction, or planned in the New Forest area, no consideration has been given to the increasing demands on local schools, medical facilities, parking and the suitability of the existing roads to handle the additional traffic.
And in the case of Bransgore, the growing need for a better bus service linking it to Christchurch and Ringwood.