PROBLEMS with infrastructure and the road network need to be addressed before any more houses are built in Ringwood, a meeting heard.

A virtual extraordinary meeting was held last Wednesday by Ringwood Town Council’s planning, town and environment committee to discuss its response to the application for development on land at Moortown Lane.

A “hybrid” planning application for land off Moortown Lane has been submitted by Crest Nicholson to New Forest District Council seeking outline permission for 323 homes and full permission for 168 homes.

Land at Moortown Lane, strategic site 13, was earmarked for development in the New Forest District Council’s Local Plan for an estimated minimum of 480 homes.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans state the proposals are for 491 “high-quality” new homes with public open space, children’s play areas, sports pitches and a MUGA.

It would also have Alternative Natural Recreational Greenspace and new pedestrian and cycle connections.

A vehicular access is proposed from Moortown Lane at the southern edge of the site. The priority junction will also include a new pedestrian and cycle crossing to the land south of Moortown Lane.

Concerns were previously raised by councillors over the access and traffic. In its draft response the town council has raised concerns over the access and traffic and also that there was no provision for a community facility or primary school as well as loss of recreational space.

Affordable housing, the design and density of the development, environmental impact as well as flooding and drainage were other areas of concern flagged by the the town council.

Committee chairman Cllr Philip Day said the draft produced by the task and finish group was “not cast in any tablets of stone”.

However, the response was endorsed by both councillors and members of the public present at the meeting.

Kate Little, a representative of Crest Nicholson, said it would collate feedback and “review comments and implement, where necessary, amendments to proposals”. She added: “Our application remains a work in progress. We’re keen to take comments on board and continue working with the town council in securing the site and what can hopefully be a really wonderful development.”

Cllr Day said the draft suggested the application be withdrawn and developers “go back to the drawing board” and asked if that was their intention.

Miss Little said they were waiting to have a meeting with planning officers at New Forest District Council but for Crest “the intention will be to submit amendments we won’t be seeking to withdraw”.

On the online application residents have also expressed concerns over the impact on traffic, infrastructure and amenities including doctors and also schools, as well as the environmental impact of pollution and disturbance of wildlife.

One member of the public at the meeting hoped lessons would have been learned after the Linden Homes development at Beaumont Park and was concerned over the infrastructure adding that the road system was “diabolical” and “cannot take anymore as it stands”.

He also said there were issues with sewerage and also low water pressure impacting residents in Crow.

“That is just a few of the major problems that need to be resolved before we can even think about building more houses of this scale. Obviously, you’ve got schools, doctors and all the rest of it.”

Cllr Day said the draft response had flagged up traffic and access which were a “fundamental” issue and that the plans were felt to be “lacking”. He said sewerage and additional capacity was also covered in the response.

Low water pressure, councillors agreed, would also be added to the response.

Cllr Day added: “It is for us to flag up problems and the applicants to come up with solutions. Our concern is the number of these matters have not been addressed in terms of providing a solution.”

During the meeting concerns were also raised about a crossing along Christchurch Road south of the Lidl roundabout - expecting people to cross at the Moortown Road junction and remain on the narrow pavement on the western side of Christchurch Road until the informal crossing south of the Lidl roundabout which was described as “ludicrous”.

Cllr Day said the entire transport strategy, including walking and cycling, was “not good”.

The representative for Crest Nicholson said it was awaiting a response from Hampshire County Council’s highways and a transport assessment had been carried out.

The draft response will now go forward to the full council for final approval.

To view the proposals visit and use reference 21/11723.


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