Cheers as neighbours win battle over homes development near A3

111907-6554 SCRATCHFACE COUNCIL (EB) MRW 23/5/2011''// all pix taken as protesters against a development adjoining Scratchface Lane and the A3M at Bedhampton met at Havant College and then went in to hear an Extraordinary Development Management Committee re: the same - MRW //''Those against the development gather at the gateway to Havant College  ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (111907-6554)
111907-6554 SCRATCHFACE COUNCIL (EB) MRW 23/5/2011''// all pix taken as protesters against a development adjoining Scratchface Lane and the A3M at Bedhampton met at Havant College and then went in to hear an Extraordinary Development Management Committee re: the same - MRW //''Those against the development gather at the gateway to Havant College ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (111907-6554)
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THERE were jubilant scenes last night as councillors unanimously turned down plans for a controversial housing estate.

Residents and councillors representing Bedhampton have spent two years campaigning against the development off Scratchface Lane, in Bedhampton.

The application before Havant Borough Council’s planning committee was for 92 homes which would have run alongside the noisy A3M.

Impassioned pleas were made by four residents and three councillors not to give the plans the go ahead despite a recommendation by planning officers at the council to approve them.

More than 100 people packed the four-and-a-half hour meeting and there was clapping and cheering from the public gallery when the decision was announced.

Jim Graham, chairman of the North Hill Residents Association, led the campaign.

He said: ‘Obviously we’re absolutely delighted that the planning committee has seen sense.

‘With the amount of noise the motorway generates it will never be a pleasant place to live. The committee have given the developers a clear and resounding answer. I would like to thank all those who helped stop the development.’

The meeting heard from Councillor Jenny Wride who had major concerns about noise, traffic problems and the fact that Bidbury Infant and Junior Schools would be at maximum capacity if the development were to go ahead.

Hampshire County Councillor Liz Fairhurst also made a representation against the development. She said: ‘I live near the A27 and the MP David Willetts has been fighting to do something about the noise levels.

‘The Highways Agency has admitted they are too high and when money allows new road surfaces will be laid.

‘As bad as the A27 is, it’s nothing compared to the A3M. I was there on Saturday morning and I could hardly hear anyone speak.

‘Is that what we want for our residents?’

But Jeremy Higgins, representing the developer Crayfern Homes, argued: ‘If it had not been suitable the officers would not have recommended it for approval.’

He went on: ‘We’re all aware that you (the residents) don’t want to see development here but there is significant need for new housing in the borough. There is very much a social as well as economic need that forms the basis of future housing requirement.’

The development would have included 39 per cent affordable homes.

Councillor David Guest said it was a tough decision to turn down a development of this size when the council had a 6,300 home target to reach by 2026.

‘What really tears me up is the fact that we really need affordable homes in this borough,’ he said. ‘However, how can we put people who are perhaps less fortunate and might need a lot of help in buying a home in such a position - next to that roar?’

Reading from the officer’s repor,t Councillor Michael Wilson highlighted a paragraph which stated that, considering the noise from the motorway, there would be suitable double glazing installed in the properties and residents had the choice of ‘keeping the windows shut and enjoying the quiet or opening the windows for a blast of fresh air.’ Cllr Elaine Shimbart, who put forward a motion to reject the application on the basis of the noise, said: ‘I know we do need to build more houses but our residents deserve to live in a good environment. I think it’s grossly unfair to expect residents to live with this amount of noise.’