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Highclere new homes ‘out of character’ says council

Greenfield development plan is unsustainable on ‘any economic or social service measure’

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby

jonathan.ashby@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886637

Highclere new homes ‘out of character’ says council

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 26 new homes in Highclere have been objected to by the parish council.

The proposals, unveiled last year by development company JPP Land Ltd and situated on a greenfield site off the A343, have attracted the ire of local residents, and last week the Highclere Society objected to the plans, claiming they would overly urbanise the village.

And now the parish council has followed suit, citing several reasons why the scheme should be turned down.

As well as being unsustainable on “any economic or social service measure”, the council argues, the village lacks the infrastructure to cope with the increase in population that 26 new homes would bring.

The entrance to the site, off Andover Road, would cause even more problems on the flow of traffic, the council claims, while the need for the wildflower field and open space in the south west corner of the proposed site was disputed as there are already large areas of open space in Highclere.

The council also said that the application went against National Planning Policy Framework and the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan as there was no justification for the homes.

The council said in its response: “This large development would be totally out of character with the rest of the village.

“The proposal is a disproportionately large expansion of a parish the size of Highclere, and it’s out of character for the village main thoroughfare.

“Properties along Andover Road are predominantly of individual character, and adding a 26 new housing development along the main road within the village will have a strong impact on the character and style of the village.

“Highclere village has developed organically over its history, largely through infill and small developments.

“In fact, within the last 12 months, there have been various planning applications submitted for small-scale development.

“Permission for six houses has already been granted and there is permission in principle for a further three houses.

“Therefore, an estate of 26 homes would represent the biggest single development in this village.

“This is more than excessive and would damage the rural character and begin a process of urbanisation by adding at least 10 per cent to the current housing stock.”

This is not the first time JPP Land has attempted to build on the site, after an application four years ago for 50 homes on the land was thrown out by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The new application – for outline planning permission rather than full – is on a significantly reduced scale, and is intended to help the borough council meet its five-year housing land supply, of which it is currently short.

The application will now go to the borough council for consideration.

To view the application, go to the council’s planning portal and enter the reference 20/03524/OUT.

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