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Tadley and Pamber Rural Protection rejoices after Bewley Homes’ 260-home Skates Lane plans removed from Basingstoke and Deane’s Draft Local Plan

A community action and campaign group has rejoiced after plans to build 260 homes on land south of Tadley have been thrown out.

Housing developer Bewley Homes revealed plans to build a large housing development on land at Skates Lane last June, but Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council removed the proposed development site from the Draft Local Plan last month.

Tadley and Pamber Rural Protection (TPRP) formed in opposition to the original Skates Lane plans, with its main concern being the potential loss of countryside land.

The land at Skates Lane, south of Tadley
The land at Skates Lane, south of Tadley

Members of the group are overjoyed that the land will remain untouched for the foreseeable future.

TPRP member Kevin Chatburn said: “Thank you to all of you that have objected to this development.

“Special thanks to individuals such as Alan Albery and Paul Sterry who have contributed enormously behind the scenes, and thanks to CPRE, The Countryside Charity, Tadley and District History Society and the Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for their valued informing of the detail in the objections.

The land at Skates Lane, south of Tadley
The land at Skates Lane, south of Tadley

“Finally, thanks to all the efforts of our Lib Dem councillors – Androulla Johnstone, Jo Slimin and Kerry Morrow – in presenting to council the arguments against this development.”

TPRP believes that the land should be legally protected from being built upon because of a covenant that was part of a land sale in 1975.

Land owner Nicholas Conran took on ownership of Skates Farm and its surrounding land when his aunty Kathryn Conran died in 1958.

Miss Conran was a passionate supporter of farming and the countryside way of life, so when her nephew had to sell the land in 1975, he sold it on the basis that the purchaser, and all subsequent purchasers or deriving title, were not able to build on it.

The covenant prevents 40 acres of the 60-acre proposed development site.

Speaking about the land, Mr Chatburn said: “It is a haven and corridor for a wide variety of ecological systems.

“Many of the species are notable and heavily protected.

“Housing development would kill most of it and leave a barren new housing settlement in the middle of the countryside.

“No wonder Nicholas wanted to protect it.”

Despite this victory at Skates Lane, TPRP remains fixed on its aim of protecting the countryside around Tadley from “inappropriate development” and increasing biodiversity in the area.

It is currently seeking new members so it can expand and undertake projects such as biodiversity surveys, heritage surveys, using of acoustic and visual sampling techniques, data analysis and fundraising.

Those interested should visit the group’s website at https://tprp.co.uk/

TPRP also wants to liaise with other like-minded groups in and around Tadley and Pamber.

Mr Chatburn added: “The proposal has been removed from the Draft Local Plan, but please be ready to object again if a planning application is made in the future.

“We will continue campaigning to protect our countryside and enhance the ecology it supports.”

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