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Appeal over refusal of plans for village car showroom

The building would be turned into a convenience store and takeaway
The building would be turned into a convenience store and takeaway

A CHALLENGE has been launched against New Forest District Council’s refusal to allow a convenience store and takeaway to be built on the site of a car showroom in Pennington.

Brightbeech Investments wants to turn Hills of Lymington, at 44 Milford Road, into two retail and takeaway units, with parking and landscaping.

The plan involves re-using the current building and including 17 parking spaces, with daily trading hours of 6am-11pm. Up to 40 new full and part-time jobs were promised.

NFDC turned down the application, saying it went against Local Plan policies by splitting the site in such a way it would prejudice future housing development.

The authority also criticised the design, and cited failures to make effective use of the land or fulfil housing yield in a “highly sustainable” location.

Now Brightbeech is appealing this decision, arguing the proposal would not prevent the future development of the site in accordance with its allocation for a mix of commercial and residential purposes. It pointed out the application accounted for only a third of the area.

The appeal also states only the parking was described by NFDC as poorly designed but without any specific reasons for this observation.

As reported in the A&T, the scheme was heavily criticised by Lymington and Pennington Town Council and residents during its application process.

A petition against it garnered 51 signatures, and there were 21 letters of objection.

Town councillors had said the plan was of “very poor design quality” and predicted a traffic hazard would ensue as a result of vehicles travelling to it on an already busy road.

They also said it failed to make “effective” use of the land which would be better allocated to residential housing.

The appeal is set to be decided on the basis of written representations, which should be sent to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol by 9th July.

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