Former Testwood Club site in Totton to be developed with 12 affordable homes
TWELVE affordable homes will be built on the site of a former Totton social club after plans were approved by councillors.
The green light was shown for the New Forest District Council scheme by its own planning committee following its purchase of the Testwood Club site off Salisbury Road in 2019.
The council has worked with MH Architects Ltd to draw up plans for six one-bedroom and six two-bedroom flats available for social rent and allocated to tenants on the housing waiting list.
Testwood Club had been trading for 70 years and former members even set up a Friends group to look at ways of saving the popular facility.
However, the committee meeting heard that all the groups and clubs that used it had since relocated to new premises.
Speaking in support of the application, architect Nathanael King-Smith said many amendments had been made in response to a public consultation and advice from planning officers.
He said: “This represents an efficient use of previously developed land that will deliver much-needed affordable accommodation in a sustainable location.
“The biodiversity and landscaping will be improved by a scheme drawn up by an ecologist.”
However, neighbour Stephen Dunn described the planned 12 flats and 18 parking spaces as excessive.
He declared: “The building is totally out of keeping with pitch roof style properties located in this part of Totton.
“Recent house builds and extensions have been expected to comply with those already built in the area. Just because the council has purchase this land it does not justify breaking these conventions in order to shoehorn in the maximum number of flats into the space.”
Debating the scheme, Cllr Maureen Holding described it as excellent, adding: “It is a nice space for people to live in and I am delighted.”
Cllr Sue Bennison said hedges and additional screening would protected neighbours' privacy.
"This will provide 12 roofs over people's heads who will come off our housing list. so all in all I think it’s pretty good,” she said.
A report to the committee added: "This design will provide much-needed affordable homes on a vacant brownfield site, within close reach of amenities.
"All flats have been orientated to allow for good levels of natural light, and in terms of amenity space, each flat has a private balcony or, if on ground floor, a patio."