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New Forest District Council concerns over BCP Council suggestions to develop land in Bransgore and Walkford

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CONCERNS have been revealed over the impacts of hundreds of new homes on three BCP Council sites which border the New Forest.

BCP, as part of its ‘Local Plan issues and options consultation’, has mooted 300 homes off Burley Road in Bransgore and at least 114 on adjacent plots of land in Walkford

NFDC cabinet member for planning, regeneration and infrastructure, Cllr Diane Andrews, has now called for talks between the two authorities over worries about the effects of the developments on neighbouring New Forest areas.

300 homes could be built at Higher Clockhouse Farm on Burley Road, Bransgore (picture: Google)
300 homes could be built at Higher Clockhouse Farm on Burley Road, Bransgore (picture: Google)

BCP's consultation will help planning officers draw up a formal Local Plan – which provides detailed planning policies and site allocations to guide change and new development within the area up to 2038. It is required by the government.

In a decision notice Cllr Andrews sought to "highlight the wider cross-boundary issues" that such developments could have on New Forest sites.

NFDC has "serious concerns" since Bransgore has a "limited infrastructure to support further growth" it said. "There are concerns about the poor relationship between the identified land and the village, and poor connections between a development in this location and the village.

"This site is not an obvious ‘rounding-off’ of the settlement but would be a ‘finger’ of urbanisation extending westward from the village into the green belt and encroaching on open countryside."

The Walkford sites at Chewton Glen Farm and the adjacent Coda Music Centre, are "part of a very narrow green gap" to New Milton, NFDC said, and eroding that would "reduce the separation of these settlements".

Plans for two sites off Chewton Farm Road have concerned NFDC
Plans for two sites off Chewton Farm Road have concerned NFDC

Responding, deputy BCP Council leader, Cllr Phil Broadhead, said: "We will be working very closely with neighbouring authorities through the duty to cooperate as we move onto the next stage of the Local Plan process.

"We welcome NFDC’s input into the cross-boundary discussions which are already under way and will arrange further engagement on the matters raised in the future."

Nearly 200 comments about the plans for each site – the vast majority opposed – have been received from residents, with one saying of the Bransgore proposal: "BCP tick a box and build. All the infrastructure relies upon NFDC resources in Bransgore and surrounding areas, and there will be no support from BCP. There are no facilities in our village to support the BCP sprawl.

Cllr Diane Andrews
Cllr Diane Andrews

"This would be a most un-neighbourly development from a big brother neighbour."

Of the Walkford site, another said: "Developing this land would be catastrophic for the local wildlife that use this natural green corridor as their habitat. We regularly watch tawny owls, a buzzard family, foxes, bats, deer and numerous other birds and mammals from our home across from the farm.

"They will be driven out and a whole eco system will be lost."

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