PLANS to build more homes in Fordingbridge have once again been met with opposition by town councillors.

The application for 64 homes on land at Tinkers Cross, Whitsbury Road, submitted by Pennyfarthing Homes, came before Fordingbridge Town Council’s planning committee last week.

The proposals also include new accesses on to Whitsbury Road as well as change of use of land for alternative natural recreational greenspace.

Cllr Paul Anstey told fellow councillors that improvements had been made to footpaths on the site.

He said work on the application was “still ongoing”.

Concerns over traffic and infrastructure

On the New Forest District Council (NFDC) website, the majority of public comments, he said, were in opposition to the new development and focused on the impact on traffic and congestion, infrastructure including doctors as well as the environment.

Three sites in Fordingbridge have been designated for development in the New Forest District Council Local Plan. These are sites on land north of Station Road, Ashford, Whitsbury Road and land at Burgate for housing.

Pennyfarthing is also looking to build a larger development on land west of Whitsbury Road (Strategic Site 17).

When the town council considered the application earlier this year it recommended refusal for reasons including poor design and access.

At the meeting last week, Cllr Anstey said the “accumulative impact” on the town and roads was still not covered in the application while Cllr Alan Lewendon raised concerns about the impact on Fryern Court Road and said there had been no attempt to gather traffic data there despite concerns raised. He described the traffic there as “frightening”.

Affordable housing

Cllr Anna Wilson raised concerns over the possible lack of affordable housing as Hampshire County Council required £272,517 for education contributions. An email in the planning documents from September 24, referring to a site appraisal, stated “the scheme cannot now afford any affordable provision given the resultant land value”.

This, she said, was “no benefit to the town”.

However, since the meeting Pennyfarthing Homes has said it hopes to be able to "agree the final numbers and mix in the coming weeks".

What the town council said

Cllr Anstey said: “I acknowledge the UK housing shortage, the NFDC Local Plan and three strategic sites, and I accept the fact that the sites were imposed upon us and its some 1500 houses, although that number does go up. I, individual colleagues, and the council have worked with NFDC to try and make the most of this situation. However, I find it really difficult to approve or agree this and the other schemes as these houses generate more traffic and does absolutely nothing to make Fordingbridge a safer place.”

The committee recommended refusal citing concerns including affordable housing and traffic. Cllr Edward Hale added: “We can’t support it because we know so many people in the town are against it because of the traffic.”

What Pennyfarthing Homes said

Ben Arnold, Land and Planning Director at Pennyfarthing Homes said: “Our amended planning application for 64 homes at Tinkers Cross is still out for consultation on a number of matters, including affordable housing viability, where we are still waiting to hear back from the Local Authority’s affordable housing viability consultant. We hope to be able to agree the final numbers and mix in the coming weeks.

“In relation to highway and traffic matters, Hampshire County Council as Highways Authority are not objecting to the application and their education team are requiring a financial contribution towards works to the Fordingbridge Junior School to increase capacity. We believe this is a high-quality development that will help deliver the much-needed new homes within the New Forest district.”

How to find out more

NFDC will make the final decision on the application. To view the application visit NFDC’s website.


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