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46 homes planned off Church Lane in Sway 'will not meet local need' says parish council

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PLANS for 46 homes on former greenbelt land in Sway do not meet local needs and should be completely redrawn, parish councillors have said.

The scheme in Church Lane, which has been described as the most significant in the village for a generation, is for 43 three-bedroom homes and three two-bedroom, of which half will be affordable.

The bid submitted to the national park authority by Hector Hurst, of Hurst and Hurst Estates Ltd, also includes 92 parking spaces and public open space.

An artist's impression of the homes
An artist's impression of the homes

However, Sway Parish Council has claimed the plans do not meet the community's housing needs, and that insufficient work has been done to assess the impact on wildlife.

Prior to submission of a detailed planning application the scheme has been discussed during drop-in sessions in the village, led by scheme agents Chapman Lily Planning Ltd.

The official plan has prompted 44 letters of objection from local people raising concerns about the design, safety of the junction, parking, the housing mix and plans for green space.

Another CGI of the plans
Another CGI of the plans

Recommending the NPA refuse the scheme, the parish council said it was "ill thought out", contravened local planning policies and lacked detail.

It said the size and design of the dwellings was wrong, and more work was needed to ensure road safety in Church Lane. It also claimed there was insufficient consideration of climate crisis mitigation and waste water.

The site is included in the NPA's Local Plan – a keystone document which sets out where major developments should take place within the national park until 2036.

Its allocation for 40 homes is already accepted, so core planning arguments are likely to focus on the scheme's design and whether the site can accommodate 46 dwellings.

Church Lane, Sway, Hurst and Hurst Ltd. (52177057)
Church Lane, Sway, Hurst and Hurst Ltd. (52177057)

Although backing the principle of building there, the parish council suggested the 46 mostly three-bedroom homes should incorporate smaller, one and two-bedroom properties. The design was also criticised as "suburban".

Turning to a proposals for a community garden and amphitheatre, the council suggested a more natural scheme with wildlife corridors and larger native trees such as oak and beech.

It concluded: “The parish council has consistently affirmed that it is happy with the principle of housing on Church Lane, provided it meets the housing needs of the village and its residents, acknowledges and mitigates impact on climate change, the natural environment and does not create a worse infrastructure in terms of road safety, traffic management and waste water.”

The application said all properties will feature "generous private gardens to the rear" as well as one hectare of informal open space that will promote wildlife.

The document continued: “A palette of traditional materials is being used to blend the development into the grain of the village. On the whole, front door entrances to the dwellings will address the public realm in a traditional and confident manner.”

The scheme is expected to be considered by the NPA's planning committee in January.

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