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Plans submitted for 45 home development on greenfield land in Ashford Hill

PLANS have been submitted to build 45 new homes on greenfield land on the southern edge of Ashford Hill.

Berkshire developer JPP Land has put forward proposals to build the homes, 40 per cent of which would be classed as ‘affordable’, on agricultural land directly south of Holt Cottages on the east side of Little Knowl Hill.

The houses would be of a smaller scale, with 80 per cent of the scheme either one-, two- or three-bed houses, while access to the site would be off Little Knowl Hill.

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

As the application is only for outline planning permission, it is only to establish whether the homes can be built on the site, including their general form, rather than a full application.

The site is outside Ashford Hill’s settlement boundary, however the applicant argues the boundary is out of date as it “does not reflect residential development permitted and constructed to the south of Ashford Hill Road”.

In a planning statement prepared by Woolf Bond Planning on behalf of JPP Land, the applicant states that although the proposals go against Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council policies prohibiting development outside settlement boundaries except in certain circumstances, as the council is unable to provide a “minimum five-year supply of housing land”, the development should be given the green light.

The targeted land in Ashford Hill.
The targeted land in Ashford Hill.

It states: “It is acknowledged that some harm will arise to the loss of this greenfield site to a residential development.

“However, the degree of harm is reduced having regard to the limited (localised) effect of the scheme on the character and appearance of the wider countryside.

“The harm is also reduced owing to the high-quality nature of the proposed development and its compliance with the character, pattern and grain of development associated with Ashford Hill.”

The applicant argues the development would have “significant economic benefits” through the construction phase and then from the future residents, as well as social benefits through the provision of affordable housing and helping to meet the borough’s housing needs.

The borough council currently needs to build 884 homes a year to meet its housing needs.
The borough council currently needs to build 884 homes a year to meet its housing needs.

The borough council is currently updating its 2011-2029 Local Plan to identify which sites in the borough can be used for future development.

It currently needs to build around 884 new homes a year up to 2038 to meet its housing needs.

JPP Land conducted a public consultation on the proposed scheme ahead of the planning application being submitted.

However, only nine residents participated in the online survey – with most arguing against the need for more houses in Ashford Hill.

One concerned local pointed to the lack of amenities and bus service, as well as the “over-subscribed” school, while another said the village had been “subjected to a disproportionate increase in new development over the last two years, and any further increase is frankly unsustainable”.

In 2018, plans were approved for 35 homes on a site at the junction of Little Knowl Hill and Ashford Hill Road.

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 21/02696/OUT.

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