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Pennyfarthing's revised 166-home Brockhills Lane development rejected by New Milton councillors again

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TOWN councillors are again opposing revised plans for a 166-home development on the edge of New Milton amid concerns over road safety.

More than 20 residents turned up to Tuesday’s extraordinary planning committee meeting – the second held to discuss Pennyfarthing Homes Ltd’s proposals for former greenbelt land to the east of Brockhills Lane.

Councillors previously joined more than 400 locals objecting to the original bid in October 2021.

An artist's impression the homes planned
An artist's impression the homes planned

Pennyfarthing made some amendments, cutting the number of units from 169 and saying it had worked to address concerns over the effect on the roads.

The revised application to New Forest District Council included a new vehicle access onto Brockhills Lane, and associated works including landscaping and open space.

It also retained a pledge for half the homes to be designated as “affordable”.

But the meeting’s speakers, including representatives of campaign group Residents Against the Development of Brockhills Lane (RADBL), raised many of the same issues.

These included increased danger to motorists and pedestrians using the narrow lane and adjacent Sway Road.

The distance from shops, schools, doctors’ surgeries and other amenities was again highlighted, raising anxiety that there was heavy reliance on drivers when sustainable transport should be promoted instead.

There were also fears the development would create a rat-run through Hollands Wood Drive.

New Milton Town Council planning committee chairman Cllr Steve Clarke
New Milton Town Council planning committee chairman Cllr Steve Clarke

Residents and councillors felt the development was still too dense for the strategic housing site identified in NFDC’s Local Plan for “at least 130 dwellings”.

Committee chair Cllr Steve Clarke told the A&T afterwards: “The committee agreed with everything the members of the public raised, especially the concerns over infrastructure, the roads and the safety issues on the roads.

“It unanimously voted to recommend refusal of the application.”

Cllr Clarke added: “Pennyfarthing had made a lot of amendments, but most of these were very minor and none that we thought fundamentally changed the application previously submitted.

“Obviously, it is a strategic site for housing and we’re not opposing housing per se – it just has to be right.”

Welcoming the meeting’s outcome in a post on RADBL’s Facebook page, Mike Tambling expressed concerns over Hampshire County Council’s highways department backing despite the road safety concerns.

He said: “It’s total madness to even pass the road issue. They all agree it’s simply not a viable plan with such dense houses bringing with it thousands of extra car journeys a day.

“However, it’s a massive positive and I hope will lead to reduced housing numbers for Pennyfarthing to hopefully find it a non-viable profit project and some common sense rather than NFDC numbers and profits for the developer. Locals must be heard!”

The A&T contacted Pennyfarthing for its response to the criticisms, but it declined to comment.

NFDC’s decision is expected late summer.

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