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Plans for 45 homes on greenfield land in Ashford Hill slammed by council

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Plans to build 45 homes in Ashford Hill have been met with a backlash by the parish council.

Berkshire developer JPP Land has recently submitted an outline planning application for the homes on greenfield land south of Holt Cottages on the east side of Little Knowl Hill.

However, Ashford Hill with Headley Parish Council has objected to the plans, labelling them “excessive and disproportionate”.

The proposed site in Ashford Hill.
The proposed site in Ashford Hill.

It said the development could increase the number of households in Ashford Hill by 40 per cent and that the parish “doesn’t have the facilities to support a significant increase in population”.

It continued: “There is no shop in the village or any reasonable means to reach one on foot.

“Furthermore, Ashford Hill Primary School is currently over-subscribed and would be unable to accommodate any additional children now and for the foreseeable future based on the present housing within the parish.

The proposed lay-out in Ashford Hill. (51539190)
The proposed lay-out in Ashford Hill. (51539190)

“The new Oakfield Lane development in Ashford Hill provided a recent addition of 35 new dwellings alone, plus the additional 27 house opposite the school which has full planning permission.

“There are no other community amenities available and private transport would be required to use other facilities located in Kingsclere, Newbury or Tadley.”

The council also cited concerns over urbanising the “ancient” meadows and the increase of traffic that the development would bring.

It said there are an average of 3,600 vehicles per day travelling through that section of the village, with 93 per cent of all vehicles travelling north through that section exceeding the 30mph speed limit – and 26 per cent exceeded 41mph.

The parish council’s Neighbourhood Plan – a document guiding development in the borough which then feeds into the borough council’s Local Plan – is at the reviewing stage with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning department in preparation for the parish referendum on it.

The Neighbourhood Plan, which has been produced following consultation with local residents, outlines that the parish doesn’t want any large-scale development, such as the recent Oakfield Lane homes, but would accept smaller scale developments of up to 10 houses on infill and brownfield sites.

The parish council response concluded: “We believe that in considering the application, the planning officers should take account of the views of the community as evidenced in the emerging neighbourhood plan.

“Additionally, in the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan, the parish, along with other rural parishes, were required to find an allocation of 10 houses during the current plan period until 2029.

“Planning officers have already acknowledged that this requirement has been more than fulfilled by the Oakfield Lane development of 35 houses in Ashford Hill.

“It on these grounds we profoundly object to this applicant gaining approval for any type of development on this land.”

The borough council is currently updating its Local Plan and is assessing sites that have been promoted for housing.

Government targets show there needs to be 17,820 new homes in the borough by 2039.

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