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100 homes plan off Derritt Lane in Bransgore given planning permission by NFDC

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A 100-HOME development in Bransgore has been given planning permission after assurances the scheme will improve existing flooding problems for neighbours.

The application for land south of Derritt Lane had been strongly opposed by Bransgore and Sopley parish councils, plus more than 140 objectors.

However, further details of the scheme’s comprehensive system of bunds and drainage basins convinced NFDC’s planning committee the development would not worsen flooding issues currently being experienced by neighbours in Wiltshire Gardens and the downstream communities of Sopley and Winkton.

An artist's impression of the plans
An artist's impression of the plans

Plans for the site, which include 30 affordable homes along with wildflower meadows, a pond and a children’s play area, were drawn up by applicant Wyatt Homes and recommended for permission by NFDC planning officers in March. However, the council’s planning committee deferred the decision and demanded more information on how proposed homes on the site would be protected.

A report by planning officer Richard Natt revealed a system of swells and basins would hold water back before it slowly travelled west to join the Clockhouse Stream – bypassing known flooding areas in Wiltshire Gardens and Sopley.

He continued: “The benefit of these basins is they have been designed to allow for the worst-case scenario of a storm.”

The current scheme proposes 70 two, three, four and five-bedroom open-market homes and 30 affordable flats and houses.

Speaking in support, Tim Hoskinson, head of planning at Wyatt Homes, said local knowledge and expert advice had been used to develop the comprehensive flood prevention scheme, which would capture water and discharge it slowly and safely into the stream.

He said: “The proposed sustainable drainage scheme has been developed to take into account future climate change, and would actually provide a betterment over the site being undeveloped, reducing risk to the surrounding areas.”

Flooding on Derritt Lane (Photo: Anthony Rose)
Flooding on Derritt Lane (Photo: Anthony Rose)

Former objector Philip Emmel said he was no longer opposed to development and thanked Wyatt Homes for its considerable work. But he added that problems would continue in Sopley, declaring: “We still have a lorry shuttle sewage service running through our village – that is not acceptable in the 21st century.”

Local district councillor Richard Frampton said he hoped £1m of community infrastructure levy accompanying the scheme would be used to improve drainage in the area.

“SIL money should be used to upgrade that footpath to Wiltshire Gardens and make sure the crossing across that stream is safe,” he suggested, adding cash would also be spent raising the road in Derritt Lane.

Cllr Frampton added: “If these two things could be done you’ve actually made a much better deal for the whole area.”

Cllr Sue Bennison said the applicant had taken on more than their responsibility in dealing with issues out of their control, adding: “The applicant cannot be held hostage to difficulties outside the site.”

Proposing that planning permission should be granted, Cllr Allan Glass said Wyatt Homes had “gone as far as humanly possible” to mitigate flooding issues. Planning permission was unanimously granted.

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