Town council backs 178-home bid for greenbelt land south of Gore Road, New Milton, despite residents' objections
TOWN councillors have backed a developer’s bid for 178 homes on greenbelt land in New Milton despite residents’ objections.
Highway safety and increased pressure on infrastructure were among issues raised as six members of the public attended an extraordinary planning committee meeting on the outline proposal for a site south of Gore Road.
Hurst Castle Ltd wants New Forest District Council’s permission to build on a 10-acre plot between Double H Nurseries and The Barn restaurant.
Residents feared the development’s effect on road speeds and HGV movements, and criticised the proposed access point opposite number 152 Gore Road.
They also felt local schools and GP surgeries could be further stretched by an influx of new pupils and patients.
A viability assessment suggesting 16% affordable housing rather than NFDC's requirement of 50% was branded unacceptable.
The location is listed as a strategic housing site for at least 160 homes and public open space in NFDC’s Local Plan, which containing core planning policies for development outside the national park until 2036.
Thanking the public speakers, planning committee chair Cllr Steve Clarke emphasised the proposal’s outline nature, with details of access only.
Even if allowed by NFDC, further details would have to be approved later before work can begin.
All 18 public comments registered on NFDC’s planning website by Monday were objections.
Committee members were disappointed there was no Hampshire County Council highways response, calling it the most pressing information required.
Following debate, they voted to respond that the application was acceptable, subject to highway authority approval.
They also ruled it should adhere to New Milton Neighbourhood Plan policy regarding increased need for climate change mitigation measures.
Cllr David Hawkins abstained.
The consultation expires on Monday 6th June, and NFDC will make a final decision by 19th July.