Homes plan gets the go-ahead despite fears it will be ‘too urban’

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 80 homes on a precious green space have been given the final go-head after a knife-edge vote.

Winchester City Council’s planning committee gave the green light yesterday to development at Little Frenchies Field, off Hambledon Road, Denmead.

The plan by Taylor Wimpey was approved by a single vote – after three councillors voted for it and two against. The decision brings an end to a long-running battle between the developer and residents.

Taylor Wimpey won the right to build homes at a public inquiry last May – after Winchester City Council had twice refused the plan because of widespread opposition from residents.

Yesterday’s meeting was to decide the design of the homes, but a total of 88 residents wrote to the council to object to it.

Jim Kerr, of Hambledon Road, told The News: ‘We think it’s too urban.

‘It’s going to be very damaging to the locality in terms of appearance and character.

‘It’s going to stick out like a sore thumb.

‘There are various flooding problems which we think it will exacerbate.’

Denmead Parish Council and Denmead Village Association also objected to the plans, due to the lack of working chimneys and the building materials being used.

They also said the development would be too cramped for the five-acre field to accommodate. And the Village Association said there was too little recreational space.

But councillors decided to give it the go-ahead.

Mr Kerr said: ‘It was close.

‘It was a lot closer than anybody forecast.’

The development will include a mixture of flats and houses, some with up to six bedrooms. There will be 26 affordable homes.

The developer has agreed to pay around £300,000 for transport improvements.

A spokeswoman for Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties said: ‘The residential development will bring a collection of much-needed, high-quality housing to the area.

‘Elevational details have been designed to complement the surroundings, which coupled with public open space at the front of the development will provide an area for local residents to enjoy.’

Jim Kerr added: ‘The suggested “play area” on the site is a small piece of grass – smaller than the four back gardens of its nearest neighbours.’