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Councillors approve homes behind village's Grade II listed pub

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Three homes were proposed on land behind the White Horse Inn in Keyhaven Road, Milford
Three homes were proposed on land behind the White Horse Inn in Keyhaven Road, Milford

THE derelict site behind the Grade II listed White Horse Inn in Milford looks set to be developed with three homes after district councillors gave the scheme the go-ahead – pending feedback from one neighbour.

The fresh proposal for a trio of contemporary four-bedroom properties by Bayview Developments for land to the rear of the pub features a revised access road from Keyhaven Road.

It follows a previous scheme for four houses, with access from Grebe Close, which was rejected by New Forest District Council’s planning committee in July, with members branding the scheme cramped and unneighbourly.

Planning officer Richard Natt told Wednesday’s meeting said the revised plan had a “significantly improved relationship with the neighbouring properties”.

This included fewer dwellings, a reduction in hardstanding, increased space around the buildings, and more greenery around the site.

“It is felt that the proposed layout creates a relatively spacious setting with the gaps between the buildings that would not appear cramped or congested,” stated a report.

“Overall it is felt the proposed development has been designed in a sympathetic manner with space around the buildings making an effective use of the longstanding untidy and redundant space to the rear of the public house.”

The planning committee met at New Forest District Council's Appletree Court HQ in Lyndhurst
The planning committee met at New Forest District Council's Appletree Court HQ in Lyndhurst

The meeting heard the houses would be constructed of timber with tin roofs to give the appearance of contemporary agricultural buildings, and each would have three allocated parking spaces.

It also emerged that the council had already warned Bayview Developments that it would be impossible for the council waste vehicles to access the properties and arrangements had been made for a private waste disposal company to provide this service.

Speaking on behalf of the applicants, planning consultant Adam Bennett said the latest scheme represented a “massive improvement on the previous plans in terms of how soft and well landscaped it is – the reduction in the level of hardstanding and we have listened to the residents of Grebe Close and moved the access which was a massive issue on the last application”.

He added that significantly more tree planting was now proposed to safeguard the amenities and privacy of people living in Grebe Close.

However, Grebe Close resident Diana Brushwood said her neighbours were still unhappy with the “ill thought-out over-developed scheme” and were particularly unhappy with the proposed location of plot one which was close to the boundary.

The scheme prompted nine letters of objection from local residents and was also opposed by Milford Parish Council.

Speaking for the parish council, Cllr Patricia Banks said the site was an opportunity for the village and had “hoped for something a little better”.

Debating the plans, Cllr Maureen Holding said: “There are still nine objections from local people and I just don’t feel this is quite good enough yet. It is an urban development and I’m not convinced that it is in keeping.”

However, Cllr Sue Bennison said: “I think that this is a vast improvement on what we had before. We were all against the access into Grebe Close and this has been revised and altered.”

Cllr Barry Dunning said: “The site is a mess. It needs redevelopment and what we have here is a vast improvement on what we had before.”

During the meeting it emerged that the occupiers of a nearby property with a garden backing onto the access road had not been notified of the application. It meant permission could not be granted until they had been given the statutory time to comment on the application.

Committee members authorised the head of development control to grant consent subject to no significant representations being received.

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