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Nine-bungalow plans for village paddock off Ruxley Close in Holbury ‘would destroy wildlife haven’ objectors say

PHOTOS of badgers and foxes in the garden of a home near a site where nine bungalows are planned have been submitted by a resident against the scheme.

The site in Holbury is currently a paddock, but applicant Mr Readhead wants to build the single-storey homes of “traditional architectural character... reflecting that of the surroundings”. Access would be off Ruxley Close.

In its application to New Forest District Council, Pure Town Planning, on behalf of the applicant, said the plans “would be in keeping” with the character of the surroundings, the homes would be “high-quality design” and “enhance local distinctiveness”.

The land off Ruxley Close in Holbury (picture: Google)
The land off Ruxley Close in Holbury (picture: Google)

There have been 16 objections to the application, many concerned about the impact on wildlife and “overdevelopment”.

The objector who submitted the photos of animals in his garden said: “We have a number of concerns regarding the effect of the proposed development on local fauna and flora.

“This site is adjacent to the New Forest National Park. All such developments have to comply with the Development Plan, Local Plan 2016-2036.

“As such, this application ignores the statutory duty in this plan to have regard to the purposes of the national parks to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural heritage.

“This area has considerable diversity of wildlife, as evidenced by the following photographs taken with cameras in our back garden.”

They added: “Badgers and foxes are not the only form of wildlife in this area; we have many types of birds (including sparrow hawks, owls, blue tits, sparrows, wrens, magpies, crows, woodpeckers to name but a few) that visit and nest in this area, along with bats flying overhead in summer. Should this development go ahead in its current format, the neighbourhood will lose its current biodiversity.”

Another neighbour agreed: “As I leave Ruxley Close early most mornings I have seen all sorts of wildlife on and around the paddock including badgers, bats, foxes, and numerous birds. In the evenings when returning home, I have seen butterflies, stag beetles and a dragonfly. What measures would be taken to ensure the small ecosystem is not completely destroyed?”

Other objectors living in Ruxley Close complained about the access from their road, with one saying: “Access and parking from Ruxley Close? Really! The site has obviously not been visited as it's quite clearly unsuitable for access and parking.”

Another said: “I think the idea of the access coming from Ruxley Close would make the road very dangerous. Currently the road is already very narrow and is always full of parked cars along it. It is currently quiet with no through traffic, and I feel this application would increase the amount of traffic making it unsafe to cross the road.”

Many neighbours said although they agreed the site should be built on, the application represented “overdevelopment”, with one saying: “We are concerned that the proposal of nine bungalows in such a small space is overbuilding, and the noise created by provisions of two parking spaces per building, plus deliveries and visitors, will in itself create excessive noise, by car doors and engines running.

“As it is at the moment, as a small field, or the rear of someone's garden, it enhances the abundance of wildlife and peacefulness of our neighbourhood. We understand that there is a need for homes, and bungalows would be the best choice here, but only as a reduced number with larger gardens.”

NFDC is expected to make a decision before 20th March.

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