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Plans for 240 homes off Station Road in Fordingbridge withdrawn after planners declare the application 'too big'



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UNPOPULAR plans for a 240-home development in Fordingbridge have been withdrawn after planning officers said it was too big.

Infinite Homes has been forced to go back to the drawing board after the district council pointed out the application was also “incorrect” over land ownership.

As reported in the A&T, there has been massive public backlash to the scheme, with 118 objections submitted to the council.

Infinite Homes' plan for land off Station Road
Infinite Homes' plan for land off Station Road

The developer wants to build an estate on 10.7 hectares of fields north of Station Road, between the town and the neighbouring village of Ashford, but a letter sent to the applicant’s agents was deeply critical.

In NFDC’s Local Plan set of policies, the site is earmarked for at least 140 homes.

In a letter to the developer, planning officer Stephen Belli said: “I have serious reservations that the number of dwellings put forward can be accommodated on this site without significant environmental harm.

“In my view this is not a question of ‘tweaking’ the numbers with a minor reduction – I would be looking for a significant reduction in the number of units.”

And he added: “In summary, the scheme as proposed is well short of the quality expected.”

He stated that the area mapped out in the application as being owned by the developer was also wrong.

The developer has previously defended its scheme as “a well-designed and sensitive development”, with 40% of the homes “affordable”.

But Mr Belli went on to say that a proposal to install a road linking the site was problematic.

“Driving a road through what is planned as ANRG [alternative natural green space] and informal open space would not be acceptable,” he said.

“It would seriously erode the eastern edge of the site and potentially have a further harmful impact on surface water drainage and the existing tree environment.”

The letter also highlighted “uncertainty” around the impact on Allenbrook residential home, which is excluded from the application but “carries the potential” for traffic through its grounds.

Me Belli also argued against the eastern side of the site being developed at all, citing conservation officers’ fears over buildings “eating into open open landscape and reducing potential wildlife corridors”. There were also concerns of flood risk in that area.

Objections from residents argued Fordingbridge’s infrastructure will not cope with the plan, claiming its roads, schools and doctor surgeries are already at capacity, and warning of gridlock, speeding, lack of parking and pollution.

They also pointed out that the impact of other recently completed developments in the town – such as Pennyfarthing’s Augustus Park – is not yet known as many of the homes are still up for sale.



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