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Bloor Homes given green light to build 280 properties in Netley Marsh

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UP to 280 homes are a step closer to being built on agricultural land on the edge of the New Forest after planners gave the green light.

Outline proposals by Bloor Homes and landowner Barker-Mill Estates were given unanimous approval by New Forest District Council’s planning committee, despite concerns over the scheme’s scale and flooding risk.

The land to the north of the A36 Salisbury Road, Totton, forms part of a wider site earmarked in NFDC’s Local Plan for 1,000 homes.

Bloor Homes is set to build 280 homes in Netley Marsh
Bloor Homes is set to build 280 homes in Netley Marsh

Planning officer Ian Rayner told the meeting that for this particular parcel of land, around 220 properties would be “consistent with policy”.

“So the figure of 280 is an uplift, but it is an appropriate uplift,” he said.

“And plans were initially for 300, which was a number we felt was too intense for the site.

“We believe the development would deliver quality housing in an area that has a significant need for it.”

Glen Langham, of Bloor Homes, said 98 of the houses would be affordable, and the scheme would bring improvements to local roads as well as “green infrastructure” which would make up 50% of the site.

Councillors agreed there was a desperate need for housing for local people, but some questioned whether developers coming forward with plans to build on the remaining parcels of land may also push up against policy in terms of scale.

But Cllr Sue Bennison said: “This is a greenfield site and I believe 280 homes is too many – particularly because we don’t know what is coming forward on the adjacent site north of Salisbury Road.

“The development needs to be particularly well designed because it is surrounded by open farmland. I hope more detailed plans will show this site is being dealt with delicately.”

Cllr Tony Ring warned: “I retain a deep suspicion of the potential for flooding risk. It seems to me there are external examples of water run-offs that create big problems, even with all the assurances.

“Those downpours are happening rather more frequently, and with that in mind it’s all very well saying you don’t think it will be a problem now, but what about in four years’ time?”

The proposals were in outline, so details in a second application will have to be agreed by NFDC before work can begin.

Chief planning officer Claire Upton-Brown said the matter would be looked at carefully in a more detailed submission showing, for example, hardstanding and landscaping.

“We are only getting part of the story but, based on the technical evidence we have, we are satisfied that water can be managed on this site,” she said. “As more details come out, we will further address the issue.”

Cllr Wade said that while councillors were not always keen to see greenfield sites developed, there was no alternative.

“We don’t have any other land to put houses on,” he told the meeting. “What’s important here is that there are 98 affordable homes.”

All 13 members voted in favour of the application.

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