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Bransgore Parish Council objects to Wyatt Homes' plan to put 100 homes near flood-prone land at Derritt Lane

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A LACK of affordable housing and flooding concerns caused Bransgore Parish councillors to join the chorus of voices against plans for a 100-home development in the village.

The parish council has decided to formally object to building company Wyatt Homes’ proposal for 85 houses and 15 apartments on land south of Derritt Lane.

The site was included in in New Forest District Council’s Local Plan, which governs construction outside the national park until 2036, and earmarked for up to 100 homes.

100-home plan for Derritt Lane, Bransgore (50121006)
100-home plan for Derritt Lane, Bransgore (50121006)

However, it is opposite the Heatherstone Grange development at the former RAF Sopley Camp, and near land that even Wyatt Homes concedes is a flood-prone area of Bransgore.

Bransgore parish clerk Helen Klaassen said the parish council had "followed this application closely" since the site's inclusion in the Local Plan, adding councillors would "continue to engage with NFDC and are committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the village and its residents".

In its representation to New Forest District Council – which will ultimately decide the proposal – the parish council said its members' main concern was flooding, adding: "The area is prone to significant flooding during periods of heavy rain, making Derritt Lane impassable."

Wyatt Homes’ proposal acknowledges the site covers land in flood zones ranging from 'one' to the most serious 'three', so has proposed development only in zone one, which is at low risk from sources such as the Clockhouse Stream that runs along the southern boundary.

It has also included measures to deal with the issue, including having swales to deal with fluvial flooding of the clockhouse and constructing sustainable drainage systems – known as SUDs.

Flooding off Derritt Lane (photo: Anthony Rose)
Flooding off Derritt Lane (photo: Anthony Rose)

But the parish council doubted their effectiveness. "The efficacy of these swales, given the high water table in this area, was questioned as there were concerns that they would become overwhelmed during periods of heavy rain and cease to be effective.

"Concerns were also raised that upgrades to the pumping station pipework to prevent groundwater seeping into the sewage pipes, may exacerbate the situation."

Wyatt Homes' proposal to make only 18 of the homes affordable – which it says is the maximum viable – also drew criticism.

"It was noted that the proposed affordable housing quota was only 18%, which was not acceptable as it is considered too low, and in any case does not comply with the 50% requirement of policy HOU2,” the parish council said.

The NFDC website lists 93 objections, with only two people in support of Wyatt Homes’ plan.

Previously, a spokesman for the developer told the A&T: "The proposals have been in-formed by extensive pre-application consultation with New Forest District Council officers, technical consultees and the feedback received from our public consultation earlier this year.

"The application is supported by a series of technical reports that address key issues including drainage, highways, ecology and landscape," he went on, pointing out it includes more than seven hectares of public open space, a large village green, play areas, and tree planting.

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