Anger as developer eyes up Emsworth field for new housing

Solent Waspi campaigners attend Fareham fair

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CAMPAIGNERS have spoken of their anger as a developer attempts to win support for a housing development a council has already refused.

Barratt Homes has invited residents to a meeting to discuss its plans for a field west of Selangor Avenue, in Emsworth, despite being told it cannot be built on.

The field is not included in Havant Borough Council’s allocations survey – a comprehensive list of six potential sites offered by landowners for development which the public is being consulted on.

Andrew Biltcliffe, Havant Borough Council’s service manager for planning policy, said: ‘This is not a site we support.

‘It was put forward for us to look at and in terms of strategic housing it is not suitable.

‘It undermines the gap between Havant and Emsworth, there is a major gas pipeline running through it and it’s also next to the motorway.

‘It is not a preferred option for Emsworth but the developers are looking to put an application in.

‘They really want to push for it and we can’t stop them putting an application in, anyone can.

‘But we don’t support it.’

Barratt has not revealed how many houses it wants to build on the site, which is almost opposite Horse Field, south of the A259.

Horse Field is on the allocations survey and there is also strong opposition against that.

In a statement Barrett said plans have been drawn up to resolve the gas pipeline issues to meet the requirements of Southern Gas Networks and the Health and Safety Executive.

It added the strategic gap factor is set to be reviewed in light of the requirement for new homes in the area.

But Chris Clode, from Emsworth Residents’ Association, is not convinced.

He said: ‘The field is not approved by the council and was in fact rejected for the development plan.

‘It is subject to considerable flooding too.

‘Barratt is being very naughty in going against Havant and the development plans and deciding themselves that it’s suitable.

‘I think they’re flying a kite – just making a punt.

‘I feel they are being exceptionally cheeky about it.’

The developer is hosting a meeting at the Brookfield Hotel, Havant Road, on Friday. Residents will have the opportunity to speak to Barratt, architects, engineers and planners from 2pm to 7.30pm.

The full plans will be at barrattsotoncommunity.com from Friday.