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Totton site free for new homes after council given approval to move depot

The depot is to move from its current home at Claymeadow in Hounsdown
The depot is to move from its current home at Claymeadow in Hounsdown

A NEW £5.5m waste and services council depot has been given the go-ahead to be built on the Waterside, freeing up a site in Totton to be developed for housing.

New Forest District Council’s development at Hardley industrial estate includes plans to build one two-storey and two single-storey buildings comprising offices, workshop and storage space.

The project will replace the current Claymeadow depot in Hounsdown and has been given the green light by NFDC’s own planning department.

As reported in the A&T, the council said in its application that the current site was no longer fit for purpose and there was no room for expansion.

A NFDC spokesperson confirmed housing plans for the redundant Hounsdown site will be drawn up by the end of March next year.

NFDC said the new location at Hardley will enable vehicles to operate “more efficiently, on a larger, more accessible site that meets modern needs”.

The new depot will house 65 vehicles, up from 50 at Claymeadow, which carry out refuse and recycling collections, ground maintenance and street cleaning. It will be open 5am-5pm Monday to Friday, and 5am-3.30pm at weekends.

The application had the backing of Fawley Parish Council and no comments were received from the public either for or against.

A report by one of the council’s planning officers said: “Given the industrial context surrounding the application site, the heavy tree boundary screening and the detailed design of the proposed buildings, the application is considered to be acceptable in terms of impact on the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area.”

Cllr David Harrison, who is a long-term trustee of the Hounsdown Community Centre, which is adjacent to the Claymeadow site, said there had been some concern over any future development.

He said: “I think most people will regard [the redevelopment] as a good thing locally, because it means less vehicle traffic. Particularly, I have long been worried about waste collection trucks using a main school route.”

Calling the Hardley site “a much more suitable location” he added: “This brings forward the prospect of the Totton depot being developed for housing. There are no plans to examine at this stage and we simply don’t know whether there will be a proposal to incorporate the

Hounsdown Community Association as part of the development, in a new building or whether the plans drawn up will be entirely separate.

“I have had direct assurance that the interests of the Hounsdown Community Association will always be protected and I will ensure this is the case.”

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