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New Forest District Council approves plan by Bargate Homes and Vivid Housing to build 60 new homes on land west of Hill Street, Calmore

PLANS to build 60 new homes on agricultural land in Calmore have been given the green light by New Forest District Council.

As reported in the A&T, Bargate Homes and Vivid Housing applied to develop land west of Hill Street with a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom flats and houses – of which 35% will be earmarked for affordable housing through social rent and shared ownership.

How the homes in Hill Street, Calmore, will look (picture: Bargate Homes)
How the homes in Hill Street, Calmore, will look (picture: Bargate Homes)

The application includes creating two new access roads from Hill Street, 133 resident parking spaces and an additional 10 for visitors, as well as open space, a play area and new paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

The site is included in a wider parcel of land in the local plan, which is earmarked for up to 1,000 new homes.

In a report to members of the planning committee, which met on Wednesday, officers recommended the application for approval.

The report states the development “would make a positive contribution” and “meet the housing needs of the district”.

It adds: “The mix of house types, styles and especially the policy compliant 35% provision of affordable housing... is a significant benefit and should be given great weight in favour of the scheme.”

The application has received nine objections from members of the public who were concerned about the impact on pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders due to a lack of pavements, the loss of privacy, the effect on the character and appearance of the area and disruption to wildlife during construction.

Hill Street in Calmore (picture: Google)
Hill Street in Calmore (picture: Google)

Totton and Eling Town Council also objected to the scheme due to the impact of traffic generated by the development along Hill Street, and the demand on services and facilities in the local area.

Netley Marsh Parish Council, which is a consultee due to the division of local boundaries, also objected to the scheme over the impact of the new vehicle access points.

It also raised a concern over the impact on nearby conservation area, Testwood Lakes, which it called “a well-used and valuable nature and recreation area”.

Members voted 10 to one in favour of approving the application.

The Hill Street homes would be a mixture of sizes (picture: Bargate Homes)
The Hill Street homes would be a mixture of sizes (picture: Bargate Homes)

Showing his support was Cllr Barry Rickman, who said: “I think its a brilliant scheme, because it is a mixed and balance scheme, it is community, its about what life should be like – not what we [often] hear, endless retirement homes, or endless all just one type.”

Cllr Kate Crisell said she had a reservation the road could become “hell” if it turned into a rat run but said the actual housing was “great”.

Speaking after the meeting, Bargate Homes’ managing director Mark White said: “We’re thrilled to have received the go ahead for our development plans in Hill Street, Calmore.

“It is well known there is a shortage of housing opportunities for local people in the New Forest, so we are pleased to have the opportunity to deliver 60 beautiful new mixed tenure homes here.”

He added: “Our team of local people understand the diverse needs for a mixture of new homes for local communities, whether that’s affordable rental properties, homes for first time buyers or for growing families.

“Our plans for this site in the picturesque rural location of Calmore address those needs.

“The highly energy-efficient houses and apartments will benefit from vast amounts of green space and an array of good amenities on the doorstep.

“We’re pleased to be working with NFDC to help meet local housing needs and look forward to being able to break ground on this site in the coming months.”

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