‘Horndean and Clanfield could be one town’

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FEARS have been raised that Horndean and Clanfield could be in danger of merging into one if a large stretch of farmland is built on.

White Dirt Farm, off White Dirt Lane in Catherington, is being eyed up as a potential site for up to 200 homes.

It comes after the landowner has put forward the 24-acre site as a possible housing site to be included in East Hampshire District Council’s new planning blueprint.

The minutes of a meeting of Clanfield Parish Council reported that the land was understood to have been sold.

Neighbours are worried the land will become more desirable for housing because the council has been told by the government to rethink its Joint Core Strategy with the South Downs National Park Authority.

It means that the authorities may be asked to find spaces for an additional 3,000 homes on top of original targets.

John Vincent, of Oak Road, Clanfield, said: ‘It’s part of the strategic gap.

‘The issue is around the amount of infrastructure.

‘It places tremendous pressure on shops and services and Clanfield surgery.

‘The roads are not being upgraded accordingly. It’s also in a flood plain.

‘If you build on that, Horndean and Clanfield will just merge into one vast town.’

Horndean Councillor Sara Schillemore stressed no decisions had been made.

Other large sites being considered for housing include Hazelton Farm, off Havant Road, which has the potential for 1,240 homes.

Regarding White Dirt Farm, Cllr Schillemore said: ‘It’s always been designated as an important local gap separating Horndean and Clanfield.’

Andrew Biltcliffe, service manager for planning policy, said: ‘It’s shown as a potential site in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

‘It’s not a reserve site, it’s not allocated – it has just been identified along with many other pieces of land put forward by owners as having potential.’

He added that once the Joint Core Strategy was approved, the land may be considered for development in consultation with residents.