Campaign launched against homes plan

A PLAN has been submitted for one of the biggest housing developments in Ringwood for decades – sparking objections among residents.

The mixed use plans drawn up by Linden Homes include up to 175 homes, of which up to 50 per cent will be affordable, 1.5 hectares of employment land, a nursing home and children’s nursery, fitness centre, restaurant, and open space, with access from Crow Arch Lane and Crow Lane.

The site had already been earmarked for 150 new homes, employment and open space as part of New Forest District Council’s Sites and Development Management Plan.

A campaign group has now been formed to fight against the plans and members are calling for residents to make their views known to council planners.

Jeremy Bradshaw, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “Planning on this site has been on the table for many, many years. The trouble is with such a history of planning submissions the local residents may believe it will never actually happen.

“The application submitted last week appears to have real leverage and therefore, whether people agree with the plans or not, we would like them to make sure their opinions are heard.

"It’s about getting the best deal for Ringwood, not just the best deal for the developers. Currently there are worries over the effects of the ongoing flooding and drainage issues in the locality, the road access, traffic volume and pedestrian safety.

"In addition it is common knowledge that the schools and the two GP practices are already full to capacity, which raises questions on how the local infrastructure can deal with substantial increases in numbers.

"The mixing of housing and commercial units should be considered too. We don’t need six-bedroom executive homes that people leave for London every day; we need a well thought out blend of housing including shared-ownership to suit local people at all life stages.”

Several comments have been made on the district council’s website.

Ringwood resident Rachel Sheil said: “While I understand the need for more affordable housing in this area for the local community, I object to this proposal.

"The size, nature of development and impact on the immediate surrounding area would be of a huge proportion. The local services and facilities are already bearing the strain by the imposition of cost effectiveness initiatives.”

Ringwood resident Donna Foster said: “I strongly object to this development. It has been said that the impact on Eastfield Lane will be minimal, well I am sorry, it won’t, it will be horrendous.

“Every day I have trouble exiting my driveway. Traffic coming from the A31 slip road is fast and dangerous and the traffic calming measures that were put in place are useless.”

Ringwood Town Council members agreed that infrastructure remained an issue and that no consideration had been given to the impact on the flow of traffic.

For information about the campaign group, call Mr Bradshaw on 01425 475413.

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