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Developer makes second bid to build homes on Highcliffe woodland

Brentland Ltd director Chris Bulstrode at the site off Jesmond Avenue, Highcliffe
Brentland Ltd director Chris Bulstrode at the site off Jesmond Avenue, Highcliffe

A DEVELOPER has submitted a second bid to build on a patch of woodland in Highcliffe with fewer homes than first proposed.

Christopher Bulstrode withdrew a scheme for 54 new dwellings in the village, comprising 18 houses and 36 apartments, and has now submitted a new proposal for 23 houses instead.

The outline application lodged with BCP Council, in the name of Brentland Ltd, is for land south of Jesmond Avenue, where local residents have objected to having trees chopped down.

Mr Bulstrode claims many of the trees are in a poor condition, but neighbours and parish councillors have said axing so many would be “unacceptable”.

In his new application Mr Bulstrode stated that out of 500 trees on the site, 45% would be retained. New trees would also be planted, and a green corridor retained along Lymington Road.

The 23 houses submitted will comprised eight two-bedroom houses and 15 three-bedroom, along with associated parking.

A planning document said: “The proposal presents a sustainable form of development, contributing to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Christchurch.

“The design has been carefully conceived to avoid harm to neighbour amenity and ensure that a comfortable relationship subsists.”

However, the new application has attracted more than 20 letters of objection. One said: “The proposal is a major improvement on previous applications. However, there are still too many properties squeezed into a small parcel of land.

“The loss of mature trees is a major concern.”

Another said: “The whole of the wood is a protected green corridor which, due to its location, content and potential, has become irreplaceable.”

One resident living near the site added: “I am very frustrated to see this application being put forward to the planning authorities again which necessitates us having to write to defend this important woodland.

“As an active member of Dorset Wildlife Trust, it horrifies me that this development would see this all destroyed.”

The land in question was compulsorily purchased by Hampshire County Council in the 1960s from what was then known as Boyland and Son Ltd to build a relief road to bypass Highcliffe. But the route was never built, and the land was brought back by Mr Bulstrode’s company in 2015.

A decision is scheduled by BCP Council after the deadline for public comments on 21st December.

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