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NPA approves application for nine properties at former Redmayne engineering site near Brockenhurst railway station

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AN application to build nine new homes on an “eyesore” site in Brockenhurst has been approved by the national park authority despite concerns over the lack of affordable housing.

Permission was granted in 2018 to transform the derelict Redmayne engineering plot at Station Approach with a mixture of commercial buildings and nine dwellings.

However, applicant Weston Investments Ltd later applied to replace the commercial part with a further seven two-bedroom properties and two two-bedroom flats for shared ownership.

The Redmayne engineering site near Brockenhurst railway station (photo: Google)
The Redmayne engineering site near Brockenhurst railway station (photo: Google)

The revised bid was not supported by the parish council, which raised concerns over the limited provision of affordable housing, lack of parking spaces, increase in traffic and loss of an employment space.

The Friends of Brockenhurst also objected on the grounds the land should be safeguarded for future jobs.

Objections from 12 locals included concerns about overlooking, increased noise and a lack of parking. Others felt the marketing and analysis of the site for alternative employment use had been inadequate.

Five letters of support were sent from locals who felt new housing would improve the “eyesore” site.

A report to the NPA’s planning committee said: “The site has remained vacant and unused for more than six years. Despite limited interest, no viable alternative employment use has come forward or has made itself known for a comparable employment use.

The application included 26 parking spaces, which was a shortfall of 10 according to Local Plan guidance. However, it was noted in the report that the approved scheme for commercial use had accepted a deficit of 15.

The report, which recommended approval, added the overall layout and design was considered to be acceptable.

NPA member Stephen Tarling found the application difficult to support, saying: “My greatest concern is the affordable housing. We would have 18 houses on this larger area and so our policy would be for 50% [affordable homes].

“Maybe we can’t reach that 50% but what we are getting instead is two that are shared ownership and £181,000.”

Supporting the application was NPA member Sue Bennison, who said: “In my experience, often commercial spaces so close to residential properties are a problem.

“I would have thought property owners nearby would think it is a better scenario than having commercial operators there, which can cause problems with noise.

“This proposal is quite nice – it is providing small units of accommodation, which is sorely needed in the Forest and district as a whole. The off-site contribution will go towards providing affordable housing elsewhere in the Forest.”

Members voted six in favour, with four against.

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