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Campaigners and developer Pennyfarthing row over traffic safety in plans for 169 homes at Brockhills Lane, New Milton

A ROW has broken out between a developer and campaigners over plans to build 169 homes on former greenbelt land at the edge of New Milton.

Residents against the development of Brockhills Lane (RADBL) say the proposal for land to its east goes against points in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and New Forest District Council’s Local Plan.

One of the main issues is their belief extra traffic will increase danger to motorists and pedestrians in Brockhills Lane. They quoted NPPF point 111, which states “development should only be prevented or refused on highways grounds if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety”.

An artist's impression of the estate
An artist's impression of the estate

But Pennyfarthing has insisted it fully complied with planning requirements and took highway safety into account.

As reported in the A&T, the local developer submitted an application to New Forest District Council for the estate of one to four-bedroom properties, promising 50% would be affordable.

Neill Crawford, who lives in nearby Hollands Wood Drive, runs the 360-member RADBL group alongside nearby residents Ellie Francis, Laura Travis and Chris Forbes-Ritte.

Although not against the land being developed, he opposed the “sheer quantity” of homes and emphasised Brockhills Lane’s narrow nature.

“At the moment it’s very precarious to walk and cycle on the road, but when they add that level of homes and the cars it will generate, it will be excessively dangerous,” Mr Crawford said.

Brockhills Lane resident Miss Francis (53) argued the road can barely cope with its current level of traffic.

Ellie Francis
Ellie Francis

“It’s a lane – it’s narrow by definition – and they’re only proposing one narrow egress onto it,” she said.

“You would have all the residents from 169 homes flooding out into Brockhills Lane, where there’s no footpath, no cycle lane, no adequate street lighting; and there’s a blind bend within 60 metres of the egress.”

Pennyfarthing’s land and planning director, Ben Arnold, argued the housing site allocation in NFDC’s Local Plan followed extensive consultation and clearance by a government planning inspector.

“As part of the allocation process, matters of highway safety were considered and deemed acceptable, resulting in the site’s housing allocation,” he said.

“During the preparation of our planning application for 169 homes, which we believe is fully compliant with NPPF requirements, our transport consultants have continued to engage with Hampshire Highways and they have not raised any matters of concern regarding highway safety or requirements for road enhancements as part of our plans.”

Campaigners say the road is too narrow
Campaigners say the road is too narrow

By yesterday (Wednesday), 105 out of 108 public comments lodged on NFDC’s planning website were against the proposal.

The public consultation ends on Friday 1st October, before the final decision is made by 26th November.

To view or comment on the application, visit https://bit.ly/3lMyXYP

The town council is holding a public meeting over the proposal at New Milton Memorial Centre, off Whitefield Road, at 6.45pm on Wednesday 6th October as it prepares its response.

Those interested in attending should email theresa.elliott@newmiltontowncouncil.gov.uk by Sunday 3rd October.

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