Fears of longer tailbacks at Warblington level crossing if 200 new homes are built

PACKED Residents and councillors during the meeting.  Picture: Sarah Standing (120934-2389)
PACKED Residents and councillors during the meeting. Picture: Sarah Standing (120934-2389)
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SERIOUS concerns about a housing development worsening traffic problems at a level crossing were expressed at a meeting last night.

Around 100 residents packed into the council chamber in Havant to hear about plans for up to 200 homes at the former Manor Farm and Copsey’s Nursery.

The land, off Hallett Road, Denvilles, is currently designated as part of the green gap between Emsworth and Havant.

Fears were raised about the development exacerbating problems of queueing traffic in Southleigh Road.

The meeting was told the gates at the level crossing sometimes close for up to 25 minutes.

It means during the evening rush hour queues of up to 60 cars can be waiting to go north, with 25 waiting in the other direction.

Clifford Smith, from Warblington and Denvilles Residents’ Association, said: ‘The closing of the gates causes queues often extending to Fifth Avenue from the north and back to the traffic lights at Emsworth Road to the south.

‘The queues are not necessarily related to the particular time of the day or day of the week.’

However, the developers told the meeting their traffic studies showed only an additional four cars would be added to the queues because of the extra homes.

Questioning the figures, Councillor Mike Cheshire, in the audience, added: ‘I am not a mathematician, but I guess that does not stack up.’

Ian Dix, speaking on behalf of the developers, said: ‘This scheme is not going to solve the existing issue with the level crossing.

‘What we are trying to do is make it better by accommodating the traffic associated with the scheme.’

People welcomed plans to build a pedestrian footbridge over the railway, subject to final approval from Network Rail.

St Faith’s councillor David Guest said: ‘It’s the only railway crossing in the borough that does not have a pedestrian footbridge. It really is appalling.’

Residents told the meeting they were not happy about three-storey properties on the site and were worried about extra traffic along the access roads.

Comments taken from the meeting will now be taken forward as developers work up their final plans to submit to the council.

LAND PLANS

THE two parcels of land would be developed separately – the former Manor Farm by David Wilson Homes and Copsey’s Nursery by the Generator Group.

The land is about 15 acres in total.

The access roads for vehicles would be Glenleigh Park, Fifth Avenue and Blenheim Gardens.

The majority of dwellings would be two-storey, with a small percentage of flats, and affordable housing mixed in across the development.

Around 30 allotments could be included.