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Nitrate fears block bid for extra home behind empty Milford pub The White Horse



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FEARS over the impact of nitrogen on a nature reserve has led a government planning inspector to uphold a decision to refuse permission for four homes to be built behind an empty Milford pub.

Applicant Bayview Developments has permission already to build three homes on brownfield land behind the listed White Horse in Keyhaven Road after its proposals were approved by New Forest District Council in 2019.

When NFDC rejected the latest plan in February, chief planning officer Claire Upton-Brown said the scheme would “result in an unacceptably cramped, congested and intensive form of development”.

The White Horse has been vacant since 2018
The White Horse has been vacant since 2018

She also warned that a “lack of space around the buildings would lead to a poor quality development, to the detriment of the character and appearance of the area”.

In her appeal decision, government planning inspector Sylvia Leonard said she was not persuaded that the construction of an additional house would be materially harmful to the character and appearance of the area.

But she did raise concerns about the level of nitrogen surplus that would arise from the development, especially because of the site's close proximity to the Solent coastline.

The inspector said: “This nutrient enriched water discharge is contributing to the growth of weed mats that can smother estuarine wading bird habitats and restrict the growth, distribution and variety of food available for wading birds.”

The inspector concluded that without a detailed mitigation scheme for neutralising nitrogen from the proposed development, the scheme should be refused.



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