THE voice of a village was heard last night as a petition with more than 2,000 signatures was handed to a council to stop a development of 275 homes.
The petition is calling for a proposed housing development in Clanfield to be scaled down to no more than 100 homes.
More than 100 residents packed into the council chamber in Petersfield to see the petition being handed to council leader Patrick Burridge.
As reported in The News, a planning application of 275 homes has been submitted for fields off Green Lane, but many residents are worried about traffic congestion and lack of infrastructure.
East Hampshire District Council deferred the decision after Clanfield Parish Council called for an independent traffic survey.
However, the results of the traffic survey did not defer significantly from the survey completed by Hampshire County Council.
Meanwhile, a team of 30 volunteers have been hitting the streets to gauge public opinion – and the signatures have flooded in over a three-week period.
The meeting was organised last night so objectors could air their concerns with developers before a formal planning meeting.
Stuart Hill, speaking on behalf of Clanfield Petition Team, said: ‘Many Clanfield residents feel like they are being steamrollered into a development and Clanfield is being sacrificed to save Petersfield from development.’
Mr Hill said the council had an opportunity to embrace the government’s Localism Bill, which will aim to give communities more of a say in decisions that affect them.
He said: ‘We are asking local councillors to reflect the same policy commitments as their Westminster colleagues.’
But Cllr Burridge said: ‘The Localism Bill is not law.
‘I don’t think it’s even had its second reading yet. We still have the South East Plan looming large and it’s something we have to give consideration to.’
Dave Woods, speaking on behalf of the Clanfield Petition Team, said: ‘We have a dilemma. There are 2,048 signatures. We are going to continue to collect them.
‘Where can we go from here?’
The developers did not speak at the meeting. However, they have amended the plans to include a mini-roundabout in Green Lane. A final decision on the plans will be made in the coming weeks.