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Plans for five homes on old Scout hut site at Courtwood Farm in Sandlehealth are refused

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PLANS to redevelop the site of a former Scout hut near Ringwood with five homes have been refused by New Forest District Council over fears they would harm the countryside.

The application by Warren Ings for Courtwood Farm, at Court Hill in Sandleheath, described the scheme as “an opportunity to sensitively redevelop a brownfield site in a purposeful and useful way”.

The site, which was once a claypit, also features a number of light industrial buildings and is very close to the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Courtwood Farm at Sandleheath (picture: Google)
Courtwood Farm at Sandleheath (picture: Google)

However, NFDC case officer James Gilfillan said allowing development in the open countryside would contradict policies seeking to concentrate housing in more urban and sustainable locations.

He said if the proposal was for affordable or agricultural workers housing then policy exceptions could be made, but this kind of housing was not proposed in the current scheme.

Mr Gilfillan also pointed out that given the limited availability of public transport, the provision of 10 parking spaces to serve five houses fell short of what was likely to be required.

The NFDC report was also critical of the scale and layout of the proposal, which was unsympathetic to the rural character of the site.

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