COUNCILLORS have unanimously backed plans to build 64 new homes in Fordingbridge.

The application for land at Tinkers Cross, Whitsbury Road, has been submitted by Pennyfarthing Homes and came before New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) planning committee on Wednesday February 9.

Previously, the plan had been for 63 homes but amended to 64. This will be made up of 51 two storey dwellings with a mix of detached and semi-detached units, seven apartments and six bungalows.

Strategic Site 17

The development is part of strategic site 17 - land allocated for housing in NFDC’s Local Plan. The plan has designated the site for a minimum of 330 homes.

Another application has been submitted by the developer for part of the site.

Also read: Whitsbury Road homes plan opposed by Fordingbridge Town Council

Pennyfarthing Homes has an outline application (21/10052) for site 17 to the south of the Tinkers Cross application.

A design and access statement submitted provided with the plans give provision of around 365 new homes.

There are two smaller parcels of land in separate ownership on land east of Whitsbury Road forming part of Site 17 but currently no applications have been submitted.

Access and affordable housing

The primary access would be off Whitsbury Road while three of the properties would be served by a private access.

Previously, zero affordable housing had been offered but after negotiations there would be 19 homes made up of affordable rent, shared ownership and First Homes.

Amended plans

The meeting heard the proposals had been amended after extensive discussions between Pennyfarthing Homes and NFDC.

Planning agent Jacqueline Mulliner said the outcome of discussions with the council had resulted in a “fantastic outcome” with the “quality and mix” of the scheme as well as the “significant” affordable housing for the area.

Town 'hung out to dry'

Three strategic sites have been allocated in the local plan for a minimum capacity of 870 homes on land north of Station Road (strategic site 16 - minimum capacity 140 homes), Ashford; Whitsbury Road (strategic 17 minimum capacity 330) and land at Burgate (strategic site 18 - minimum capacity 400).

But objector Louise Tonkin planning permission had been requested for 1,285 houses on these sites - exceeding these allocations and would increase the town’s size by 50 per cent.

She said the town had been “hung out to dry” for the sake of NFDC hitting unnecessary targets and called on the council to “go back to the drawing board” and reduce the levels of housing.

ALSO READ: Opposition to plans for 64 homes at Tinkers Cross

'Missing documents' and environment concerns: Objections to plans for 365 new homes

An application for site 16, the council report stated, was currently on hold and delegated authority was granted to the Metis Homes proposal for 63 homes at Burgate Acres which forms part of site 18.

ALSO READ: Burgate Acres development in Fordingbridge moves ahead

Pennyfarthing have also submitted an application for Site 18 for a further 400 plus homes dwellings.

Fordingbridge Town Council previously objected to the amended Tinkers Cross plans for reasons including the lack of affordable housing which was zero at that time, the impact of extra traffic and congestion, and biodiversity net gain.

The council's decision

The committee unanimously approved delegated authority to the executive head of planning, regeneration and economy to grant permission subject to conditions and completion of a Section 106 agreement.

Fordingbridge councillor Annie Bellows said she was “unable to find a good planning reason to refuse” and put a motion forward to support the recommendation. But added: “I will be watching this development carefully as it progresses to make sure it proceeds as agreed.”

Cllr Allan Glass said the development was “well thought out” and showed the benefit of developers working with the council.

And Cllr Sue Bennison hoped the applicant would “stick” to the plan and not try to squeeze any more houses in. “It is a very nice plan and anybody who purchases one of these houses will have really a quite nice place to live,” she added.

She welcomed that there was a construction and traffic management plans.


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