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New Forest District Council approves hybrid outline application for new 53-home scheme at Middle Burgate House, Fordingbridge

PERMISSION for 53 new dwellings in Fordingbridge has been granted by New Forest District Council despite claims the affordable homes onsite were a “segregated ghetto”.

The hybrid outline proposal for the 4.3-hectare site at Middle Burgate House, Salisbury Road, Burgate, includes a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom flats and houses.

Applicant Mr B. Currie also sought full permission to convert and extend the current house on the site to provide four flats.

The site is set to be transformed with new homes (picture: Brightspace Architects)
The site is set to be transformed with new homes (picture: Brightspace Architects)

All 12 of the flats in the main block and those within the old house have been earmarked for affordable housing.

Although it supported the provision of affordable housing, Fordingbridge Town Council said those dwellings were not integrated through the site but “gated off” from the rest of the community, creating a “segregated ghetto”.

It also objected to the scheme amid concerns over traffic and access and the appearance of the block of flats, which was said to look like “an office block”.

Five letters of objection were received from members of the public, who raised concerns over an increase in traffic, noise and light pollution, increased levels of crime and a drop in property value.

One letter supporting the scheme praised the good ratio of dwellings.

A report to the council explained although not a listed building, Middle Burgate House was considered as being of “local value and significance”.

It adds: “Prior to its now defunct agricultural/horticultural use, the site was used during the Second World War as a wartime food and supplies depot, containing a range of large curved Nissen hut type structures.

“The site also contained the line of the former Fordingbridge to Salisbury railway, with its own sidings serving the food depot. The site therefore has some local historical significance.”

The scheme was recommended for approval by officers who said the inclusion of a suitable viable mix of affordable housing weighed “significantly” in favour of approval.

Addressing the claims of segregation, it added: “The affordable housing units formed by the house and the new block will have a pleasant open outlook across public open space and a small play area.”

Discussing the application at a recent meeting of the council’s planning committee, Cllr John Sleep said: “I commend the plan [and] I think it is lovely that we’ve incorporated some of the historic significance of the site, I think it is charming it has been involved.”

Cllr Malcolm Wade said the site was included in the Local Plan for housing and added: “It looks a really good development, it has got a lot of positives about it. It is well worth supporting.”

Members unanimously approved the application.

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