A PLAN to build 491 new homes in Ringwood are progressing but have sparked concerns over the access and traffic.

A presentation was given to Ringwood Town Council on Friday December 3 regarding the proposals for Moortown Lane. St Congar, a land promotion business, had been developing the plans for the site, which are now been progressed by housebuilder Crest Nicholson.

The Moortown Lane site has been designated for development in the district council’s local plan.

Planning consultant Jim Bevan, who is acting on behalf of Crest Nicholson, said the proposals were “very much a continuation of where St Congar left off”.

It is planned that a “hybrid application” would be submitted which would see 168 homes built during the first phase and would deliver the principle vehicle access to the site from Moortown Road in the south.

The infrastructure and highways works, includes an upgrade of the junction between Christchurch Road and Moortown Lane with a priority junction.

Mr Bevan said the aspiration was to provide a “variety of different house types” which were “in keeping with the existing adjacent neighbourhood”. There would also be sports and play facilities, including a multi-use games area, and it would deliver a “significant natural green space resource”.

In relation to concerns over rat running, the meeting heard, automatic number plate recognition surveys showed “very limited” existing traffic on Christchurch Road but that the development would result in “some additional traffic” using Crow Lane.

The meeting heard, a priority junction, was the preferred option after discussions with Hampshire County Council.

The chair of the planning committee Cllr Philip Day raised concerns over the access and the traffic data and described Christchurch Road as being “extremely busy” and “frequently tailed back” into town.

Further traffic surveys were carried out during April and May which were validated against pre-pandemic data, which showed traffic levels were “very comparable”.

Councillors were told discussions had been held with the county highways.

Cllr Day said Ringwood was already “lacking” and “below what was expected” for a town of its size in terms of formal recreation space and that provision was already there on the site so questioned whether additional land was being provided.

The meeting was told “improvements” would be made to the existing space and there would be public accessible green space.

Cllr Hilary Edge raised concerns about how children would get to school as the roads were already busy especially as there would no longer be a school built on the site. She said it would be “horrendous”.

She also said the site needed as many facilities as possible so people didn’t have to travel.

Provision of a school on site, the meeting heard, was no longer needed according to the education authority.

There would also be a “community focal point”, which could be a shop or type of community building. Councillors were told Crest Nicholson were open to suggestions on what the community would like to see there. 

A presentation on the proposals was previously given by St Congar to Ringwood Town Council earlier in the year. 

A planning application is expected to be submitted to New Forest District Council soon.

Once the application is submitted there would be a period of consultation with the community.


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