Hope that huge new development could be answer

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A 700-home development could finally provide a solution to the housing rush that is threatening to eat up swathes of countryside.

Plans are afoot to build 700 homes on land at Hazleton Farm and Pyle Farm, which are close to the B2149 between Horndean and Rowlands Castle and Junction 2 of the A3(M).

Unlike some developments, it also promises facilities the community needs, including a new care home, bungalows for the elderly, a school, sports facilities, a community centre, allotments and employment space.

East Hampshire District Council has a target of 700 homes for Horndean until 2028 – and supporters say this could be the best answer.

Other smaller developments in the offing could threaten green gaps between villages, such as Lovedean and Catherington, and villagers are worried they will swamp semi-rural roads with traffic.

Recent plans for 220 homes at White Dirt Farm have proved unpopular with locals.

Guy Shepherd, a councillor for Horndean, said: ‘This could be the answer for Horndean. You can build there and not add lots of traffic through villages.’

He added: ‘It’s the least worst option. None of us wants to see our semi-rural location change. Most importantly it gives us the chance to build in some good community facilities.’

The development would not affect the gap between Horndean and Rowlands Castle because of dense woodland at Havant Thicket.

Peter Humphreys, a member of Lovedean Residents’ Association, said: ‘Hazleton and Pyle Farm and the Whitehill Bordon development really should go a heck of a long way on the numbers game for this apparent requirement for this level of new housing.’

But he warned there was still the risk of developers being refused planning permission on smaller sites and then winning approval after appealing to the government’s planning inspector.

East Hampshire has a target of 10,060 new homes.

The plans for Hazleton and Pyle Farm have been drawn up by Banner Homes, The Borrow Foundation and Highwood Land Horndean.

A spokesman it was a ‘comprehensive solution’. A public exhibition takes place at Merchistoun Hall, Horndean, between 3pm and 8pm on Friday, April 25.