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Second petition circulating Kingsclere opposing development site

One of seven sites in draft Neighbourhood Plan

Jane Meredith

Reporter:

Jane Meredith

Contact:

01635 886637

Second petition circulating Kingsclere opposing development site

A SECOND petition is circulating in Kingsclere, opposing another of the seven proposed development sites being considered for the village draft Neighbourhood Plan.

The proposed sites are: between Coppice Road and the A339; between Fawconer Road and the A339; between Strokins Road and the A339; behind Poveys Mead; between Basingstoke Road and Yew Tree Farm; the field next to Gailey Mill; and a portion of a field at Porch Farm next to the footpath behind Keeps Mead.

An initial petition, raised by the Earl of Huntingdon William Hastings-Bass and villager Marie Gundry, opposes the inclusion of the Gailey Mill site, where TV presenter Clare Balding, who grew up in Kingsclere,  previously lived.

Now, a further petition has emerged, opposing the inclusion of the Porch Farm site, owing to fears of village sprawl.

Steve Painter, of Wellman’s Meadow, launched the petition, and said: “Kingsclere’s Neighbourhood Plan needs to develop 50 new homes, and seven sites are currently earmarked, five of them within the village boundary. The Porch Farm site lies beyond the village’s northern boundary.

“Opponents to the scheme say the local amenity which the land provides in terms of adding scenic value to the built environment, alongside its agricultural purpose, will be lost. The field is a recognised local beauty spot, crossed by well-used footpaths.

“Any development would also unnecessarily extend the existing village boundary, creating sprawl along the A339.”

Mr Painter also voiced concerns that a development at Porch Farm might only be the beginning of further building on the site, which could take 230 houses – a potential increase of 16 per cent to village housing, with repercussions including increased pressure on schools and medical centres in the village.

He added: “Other proposed sites in the village offer the required solution without detracting from the area’s beauty and amenity, or opening the door to further development.”

Villager David Pink said: “The proposed development extends the village boundary, leaving it open to further expansion along the A339 towards Newbury.”

Another villager, Jenny Jones, added: “This development, being at the extreme edge of the village, would be the beginning of the village sprawling towards joining Headley.

“The fields are widely used by walkers and runners and a beautiful area would be lost.”

The petitions will be handed in at a public meeting, starting at 7.30pm tomorrow, at  the Fieldgate Centre, when the Neighbourhood Planning Group, chaired by Kingsclere parish councillor, Sue Adams, will present conclusions on the draft Neighbourhood Plan, prior to a formal consultation with villagers.

For more details on the Neighbourhood Plan visit www.kingsclere-np.org.uk.

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