Sun, 07 Feb 2021
MEMBERS of the Highclere community are rallying against plans to build 26 homes in their village.
Development company JPP Land Ltd has submitted an outline planning application to build the homes on a greenfield site off the A343 – four years after an application by the same company for 50 homes on the site was thrown out by the borough council.
The company claims the project will meet “needs for now and the future” by building efficient, family, smaller and working homes.
The homes would be located in the northeast corner of the site, which borders Andover Road and Westridge, with the southwest corner of the site dedicated to a wildflower field and open space.
However, the Highclere Society, which aims to protect and improve the environment and enhance the social life of Highclere, has strongly objected to the scheme and has called on the village’s residents to formally register their objections to the plan.
The society is objecting to the plan on the grounds that it constitutes a major development in an Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) contrary to national planning policy, that it is outside of any settlement policy boundary with no local need and that the development severely impacts the local landscape and does not respect local character.
The society also argues that the development would overly urbanise the village and that the location is unsustainable due to the lack of local services.
Society chairman Patrick Hedgeland said the scheme, if it went ahead, would drastically change the character of the village.
He said: “It’s not the right place to build a major housing development.
“It’s just a massive 10 per cent increase in everything – housing, people, cars.
“The character of Highclere is distinctively spread out, random and has the consistency of a very small village with gaps which you can see through to the hills around.
“This would be filling a gap.
“The borough is not asking for any housing in Highclere in their local plan, so it’s going against everything.
“There are lots of technical discussions can be had – our objections run 10-pages and it’s a closely argued legal document.
“We’re optimistic that we can stop it.”
Highclere Parish Council is also preparing a formal objection to the scheme, with councillors writing their objections to clerk Amy White to formulate into a single document.
The application will then be decided by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s development control committee.
To view the application, go to the council’s planning portal and enter the reference 20/03524/OUT.