A COUNCILLOR has warned a “tsunami of traffic” could be headed to Fordingbridge with future housing developments on the horizon.

Three areas of the town have been earmarked for development in New Forest District Council’s Local Plan.

The sites combined would bring forward a total of at least 870 homes. They are located at Station Road, Ashford (Site 16), Whitsbury Road (Site 17) and land at Burgate (Site 18).

Fordingbridge Town Council’s planning committee held an extraordinary meeting to consider two applications from Pennyfarthing Homes Ltd relating to Site 17.

A proposal for 63 homes at Tinkers Cross and an outline application for land to west of Whitsbury Road, which could eventually site 400 homes.

'Cumulative effect'

Councillor Paul Anstey said: “They all come to us in bitesize pieces and individually do not present huge or severe traffic, environmental issues. However cumulatively the additional traffic and cars and the congestion and parking issues caused by all these applications is a problem that we, Fordingbridge Town Council, will have to pick up long after the developers have gone and long after NFDC have met their targets.”

“The subsequent additional traffic does nothing to improve or make safe the problem we already have,” he added.

This was echoed by Councillor Mike Jackson, who warned: “We have got a tsunami of traffic coming to hit us.”

Concerns over poor design and access

Poor design and access were just some of the reasons Fordingbridge councillors unanimously objected to proposals for 63 homes on land at Tinkers Cross, Whitsbury Road.

The application from Pennyfarthing Homes Ltd, which also includes the change of use of land for Alternative Natural Recreational Greenspace, new accesses onto Whitsbury Road, was discussed by the town council’s planning committee last week.

The development will be made up of one, two, three and four bed homes. Thirteen per cent will be “affordable”.

Traffic impact

Concerns were also raised over the traffic impact.

Documents submitted with the application insist “the local highway network can accommodate the traffic generated by the development during the peak periods without resulting in a ‘severe’ residual cumulative impact to the network operation”.

But Councillor Paul Anstey said: “It is great when you are looking at these in isolation but the cumulative effect is over and above.”

While Councillor Jackson said the traffic would end up along Fryern Court Road which was “totally inadequate” and “virtually a single track road”.

He said the “cumulative effect” of the developments on the strategic sites in the town would add to congestion, which would “swamp Fordingbridge”.

Concerns were also raised by Councillor Anna Wilson over the design, which was “not in keeping” with the rural setting, and the lack of a footway on Whitsbury Road between Puddleslosh Lane to Fryern Court Road, which was a difficult area to cross, especially for children.

Cllr Jackson said added there was already dangerous bend near Fryern Court Road before having more traffic.

And Councillor Nobby Goldsmith questioned the access for construction traffic.

Building infrastructure first

Committee chair, Councillor Diane Paton, said there was a need for stipulations that the road infrastructure must be done first, which the town council should push for on developments.

She added: “We must continue to push for this even if it is site access only to start with. At least if they have done the main route it will continue through. My concern is we will get a road part way and won’t get the rest of it,”

Cllr Paton requested the town council’s concerns be passed onto New Forest District Council (NFDC).

During the meeting an outline application from Pennyfarthing Homes for a residential development, change of use of land to Alternative Natural Recreational Greenspace and other on-site infrastructure was also discussed.

Councillors were only considering access not housing on the site, which could eventually house 400 homes . A new roundabout on Whitsbury Road would be created, as well as a bridge.

Councillors voted to recommend refusal, asking for more details about the proposals and the new roundabout. NFDC make the final decision on applications.

Last month, the district council’s planning committee agreed to give delegated authority to the chief planning officer to grant permission for Metis Home Ltd’s 63-home development at Burgate Acres, Salisbury Road, subject to a section 106 legal agreement and 24 conditions being met.

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