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Hampshire homes blocked because of ‘gap’ conflict

Published: Thursday, 17th November 2016

Communities Secretary dismisses plans for up to 225 homes and a care home on a greenfield site in Hampshire due to environmental and social risks…

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has dismissed plans by developer Hallam Land Management for up to 225 homes and a care home on a greenfield site in Hampshire. This is despite the planning authority that refused the scheme, Eastleigh District Council, being unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

The planning inspector who held the recovered appeal recommended that the scheme, proposed for a 22-hecatre site at Hamble, should be refused.

As well as the residential accommodation the proposals included the provision of a public open space and woodland, as well as improvements to Hamble Station including new car parking. 

The decision latter made it clear that although the council claimed to be able to demonstrate a 4.86 year supply of deliverable housing land the presumption in favour of sustainable development was “engaged” meaning that permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts of doing so significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits". 

However, in this particular case the fact that the development site was located in a gap between surrounding settlements proved crucial.

The letter stressed that the positive aspects of the scheme were outweighed by “the environmental and social damage which would arise out of the loss of the gap between the surrounding settlements, involving the physical intrusion into an area of countryside, and contributing to the coalescence of those settlements, and loss of independent identity”.

The Secretary of State concluded that this was contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework which recognised “the different roles and character of different areas”. 

Read the decision letter.

Roger Milne