PLANS for the first phase of a housing development and a new roundabout on the A338 have attracted opposition from councillors and residents.

An extraordinary meeting was held by Fordingbridge Town Council’s planning committee on Thursday January 6 over Zoom to discuss the Pennyfarthing Homes applications.

Hybrid application

A “hybrid” planning application for land west of Burgate, Salisbury Street has been submitted seeking outline permission for a residential development, change of use of land to Alternative Natural Recreational Greenspace (ANRG), and a community hub, which could be for local food retail, other retail and community use.

A full planning application for the first phase of development of 111 homes, public open space and surface water attenuation is also included within the hybrid application.

The site is earmarked for development in New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) local plan, however Cllr Edward Hale said the proposal for the layout of the site had changed with part of it moved closer to the boundary of existing properties in Burgate. This, the meeting heard, was to address concerns over flooding.

There would be a mix of one, two, three, and four bedroom properties with apartments and also bungalows.

Concerns raised

Councillor Hale said concerns had been raised over increased traffic, noise, lack of amenities for new residents, pollution, carbon footprint, loss of green space and flooding.

The district council’s conservation officer, the meeting heard, had raised concerns about the development’s proximity to properties in Burgate, which were echoed by councillors.

The masterplan for the outline application has capacity of up to 405 homes on the site, which forms part of the wider Strategic Site 18 in the Local Plan.

One resident said developments proposed in the town were “neither appropriate or proportionate to the size of Fordingbridge itself” and the new development needed to have zero energy and carbon neutrality in mind at the point of building.

She also feared areas like Whitsbury Road and Alexandra Road would be “inundated with huge amounts of traffic” which would make life “extremely difficult for current residents”.

The resident also feared surrounding hamlets would “lose their distinction” as they would be incorporated into greater Fordingbridge area.

Traffic through the Augustus Park development was also raised as a concern during the meeting.

According to the plans there would be a link road between Augustus Avenue (from Whitsbury Road) and the A338 with a new roundabout created on the A338.

Another resident living near the site was also worried over the impact of noise and light pollution on neighbouring properties. While another questioned the results of the traffic survey.

Another resident felt the designs were “old fashioned” and “needed to go back to the drawing board with something that is fit-for-purpose and fit for the next 50 years” especially in light of COP26.

Cllr Diane Paton said there were still “unanswered questions” surrounding the application.

Proposing a motion to recommend the refusal of the application, Cllr Alan Lewendon said the area was “liable to flooding” and felt the arrangements to prevent this were not adequate and there would be a loss of ARNG, which he said would be “underwater for a large part of the year”. He said the movement of the site was “totally incorrect”.

Roundabout plans

An application to alter land at A338 Salisbury Road, Upper Burgate, for a roundabout was also discussed.

Two main vehicle access points are proposed. In the south the existing primary street through Augustus Park would be extended into the site while the northern access would be via a three arm roundabout on to the A338.

Concerns highlighted included the impact on the National Park as a small section falls into it, light pollution, impact on the street scene of the area and nearby listed buildings as well as the size of the roundabout.

Councillors agreed to recommend the refusal of the application for the roundabout which would provide access to the land at Burgate.

Cllr Diane Paton said: “The new road should be there before any of the houses are occupied and certainly, if nothing else there should be an access road just for a site access.”

“That road is top priority before any other development happen,” she added.

Cllr Anna Wilson, proposing that the roundabout application be recommended for refusal, said the roundabout was “ugly” and the “lighting alone is going to create so much trouble”.

To view the applications visit NFDC and the New Forest National Park Authority websites and search application numbers 21/11237 and 21/00849.

The town council's recommendations will go to the district council and New Forest National Park Authority who are the planning authorities and will make a decision on the applications.


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