A DECISION to allow a developer to build larger homes as part of a controversial new estate has been criticised.
Havant Borough Council’s planning committee gave the final green light for Bellway Homes to build 131 homes on fields off Goldring Close, Hayling Island.
The decision comes after the developer received permission for its outline plans – which regard the principle of developing the land – at a public inquiry last year.
The council had refused the outline plans over concerns about the development destroying the rural setting, but local planning officers lost their argument to the government’s inspector.
The newest set of plans included more three, four and five-bedroom homes than quoted in the original plans.
The increase equated to 55 extra bedrooms in total.
Hayling’s Ukip Cllr John Perry pleaded with the committee to refuse the plan, arguing the designs needed to be revised.
He told them: ‘Here we have a significant increase in house sizes to those approved and which if now approved would cause adverse unintended consequences.’
Concerns were raised about the impact on views from Chichester Harbour, access, traffic, flooding and sewerage.
Six councillors voted to approve the plans, with one abstention from Hayling Conservative Cllr Leah Turner.
After the meeting, John Broomhead, of Goldring Close, was angry the debate section of the meeting was quickly over.
He said: ‘We spent hours preparing for this only to realise it was a total waste of time. They did not debate anything.’
However, Cllr Turner strongly defended the committee.
She said: ‘I asked as many questions as I could. When it came to the debate I made it clear I could not support the application even though I knew there were no valid planning reasons to reject it.
‘It’s important people know there was not a valid reason.’
Chairwoman Cllr Elaine Shimbart said the inspector did not stipulate the size of the homes.
She argued more larger family homes were needed in Havant borough.
She told The News: ‘There was honestly nothing it could be refused on when it came to reserved matters.’
And she added: ‘As far as I’m concerned it was conducted fairly and democratically.’