Final plea in bid to stop housing estate being built

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DESPERATE residents gave a last impassioned plea to an inspector not to give the go-ahead to a housing development.

For three days planning inspector Colin Ball has heard evidence in an appeal by Crayfern Homes against Havant Borough Council’s decision to turn down a 92-home estate off Scratchface Lane, Bedhampton.

The council’s planning committee rejected it on the basis that the noise from the A3M would be detrimental to people’s quality of life.

Jeffrey Lane is a trained psychotherapist and his home in Brooklands Road would be next to the proposed site.

He told the inspector he had done a lot of research into the effects of noise pollution on children.

‘The decision made in this inquiry will have far- reaching effects for many years to come,’ said Mr Lane.

‘With the opening of the Hindhead tunnel it’s probable traffic levels and traffic noise will increase considerably.

‘And based on my research it seems likely that levels of noise currently considered acceptable will in the future be regarded as unacceptable and dangerous to health, wellbeing and development.

‘The suggestion that children should be confined behind double-glazing to protect them from harmful effects of noise is to me both repugnant, cruel and in many ways simply ridiculous.’

Elaine Surrey, another resident of Brooklands Road, said: ‘We’re discussing a site which in the past was considered unfit for a cemetery because it was not tranquil enough.’

She went on: ‘I fear we’re on the verge of a great miscarriage of justice being implemented if this goes ahead.’

The inquiry heard from noise experts from Crayfern and the council who argued over whether the development is acceptable with the level of noise from the motorway.

Crayfern’s noise expert said although it is accepted that some of the site will fall under category C levels of noise – where building is only allowed with strict conditions – the increase from category B, which most of the site lies within, would not be perceptible.

Councillor Ann Buckley, who represents Bedhampton on Hampshire County Council, said: ‘The World Health Organisation identified noise as the second biggest environmental problem affecting health after air pollution.’

A decision will not be made for several weeks.