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Developer Brentland Limited resurrects bid to build homes in Highcliffe woodland off Jesmond Avenue

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A DEVELOPER’S controversial bid to build housing on woodland in Highcliffe has been resurrected with fewer homes.

Brentland Ltd has proposed 17 properties for land off Jesmond Avenue – a reduction on its previous bid for 23, which sparked 300 objections from local residents.

It was later thrown out by BCP Council planners amid concerns over its environmental impact.

Brentland Ltd director Chris Bulstrode at the Jesmond Avenue site
Brentland Ltd director Chris Bulstrode at the Jesmond Avenue site

It had also sparked objections from Natural England, a council biodiversity officer and Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council, while concerns were raised by the Woodland Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

The new application said “most” of the trees on site will be retained and is based up a “living amongst the trees concept”.

It has emerged from discussions with BCP Council and comprises 16 four-bedroom family homes plus a three-bedroom dwelling,

The plans show the site retaining an ecological corridor and trees, with it divided into three distinct parcels, with the development in the west and middle parts.

The eastern section – a Site of Nature Conservation Importance – is set to be retained as a managed biodiversity area and accessed by a loop path.

The plan also pledges a 7-10-metre ecological buffer zone along the southern boundary, to ensure the continued presence of a green corridor and ecological network between Chewton Common and Nea Meadows.

In its application to BCP Council, Brentland claimed the two-storey homes have each been “individually designed” for the location to minimise the physical presence of the proposal.

Access will be via Greenways and private driveways on Jesmond Avenue, with 34 parking spaces.

The designs for Jesmond Avenue
The designs for Jesmond Avenue

Brentland added: “This scheme will deliver 17 much-needed, attractive family homes in a central sustainable location supported by public and private amenity space.

“Through rigorous testing the design creates a dynamic response to the woodland character of the setting, respecting the constraints associated with such a site.

“This much reduced proposal respects the constraints the site presents by making sure all housing has been removed from the flood zone and located in such a manner as to minimise the impact on trees.”

Planning agent Terence O’Rourke said a “natural palette” of materials will be used in the construction of the homes, the main one being a buff brick complimented by a selection of secondary complimenting materials consisting of composite timber cladding and fibre cement roof.

Buildings will also feature photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps, water reduction fittings, water butts and energy efficient lighting.

There will be electric car charging points on all dwellings and surface water will be managed through a sustainable drainage system.

As reported by the A&T, the site comprises land bought by Hampshire County Council in 1964 for the construction of a bypass.

That was abandoned, however, and the plot was re-sold to landowner Boyland and Son in 2017, with three separate schemes for the site since refused.

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