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155-home plans by Bargate Homes ‘too big’ for Hordle, says parish council

A PROPOSED 155-home estate is “too great a number” for a village site and will “substantially increase its size”, a parish council has said.

Hordle’s school also told the council there is no way it can offer places to families moving into the new estate, as it is already full.

Hordle councillors heard the development by Bargate Homes on land west of Hordle Lane could see more than 300 cars, but there were “no plans to improve the infrastructure required”.

Bargate Homes wants to build 155 houses on land west of Hordle Lane
Bargate Homes wants to build 155 houses on land west of Hordle Lane

They also discussed the fact that Hordle Primary School is already full which meant a £900,000 “mitigation” payment from Bargate Homes would not benefit it as it is “unable to offer further spaces to families moving into the area”.

At a previous parish council meeting, planning consultant Ryan Johnson for Bargate Homes revealed that Hampshire County Council had asked for the payment to increase capacity at the school.

At the planning meeting held in December councillors heard the school has “no scope” to expand.

In a letter to the parish council, the school said: “The school is currently full in all year groups. Whilst our application analysis shows that we do take a number of pupils from out of catchment, it would be poignant for the council to note that we have no further spaces currently to offer to any new families moving into the area.

“The school is at maximum capacity currently. As I am sure you can appreciate, families moving into the area will need to attend their catchment school for practical reasons. Currently, there is no way that the school can absorb the additional applications.”

The school is also worried about pupil safety surrounding proposals to deal with increased traffic along Hordle Lane.

Bargate Homes is suggesting a “build-out” along it but the council say the road is already a single track with parked cars “for the majority of days, not just at busy school times”.

The build-out would make the road “impassable and displace the parking issues to other areas in the immediate vicinity”.

Hampshire County Council has already raised doubts about whether the proposal will help deal with the predicted increase in traffic.

It has recommended instead that a car park be built within the new site which can act as a “park and stride” for the school and church.

But councillors said that it was “unrealistic” to expect children to walk all the way from the development to the school crossing, and they were instead likely to cross between parked cars at other points in the road.

The school echoed those concerns: “There are significant concerns that the developers have not shown due consideration to the road infrastructure surrounding the development.

“We are on Hordle Lane which on a daily basis is subject to exceptionally heavy parking and congestion problems.

“There have been a number of road traffic accidents in the area and we are greatly concerned for the safety of our pupils and wider community.”

The parish council decided unanimously to oppose the outline application, which is currently before New Forest District Council.

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