Wickham villagers raise flooding fears at developer’s display

Melanie Pearson from Wickham, with her one year old daughter Charlotte  at the exhibition. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150571-1662)
Melanie Pearson from Wickham, with her one year old daughter Charlotte at the exhibition. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150571-1662)

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FEARS of overdevelopment, flooding and sewage problems were raised by scores of villagers at a public exhibition.

The exhibition was held at Wickham Community Centre, in Mill Lane, yesterday and was well attended by villagers who wanted to learn more about a developer’s plans to build 125 homes.

Bewley Homes held the display to gauge public opinion on changes to its plans to build the houses off Winchester Road, in Wickham.

The changes will see 100 homes built off Winchester Road and 25 on the Glebe.

Secretary of Wickham Residents’ Association Anton Hanney said he had concerns about flooding and sewage.

He said: ‘Everybody agrees that the village needs more houses, but what’s important is that the infrastructure is in place before they’re built.

‘In Wickham we have a very old and decrepit drainage system and this needs to be looked into before work begins.’

But developer Bryan Jezeph said the plan would meet all legal requirements with attenuation tanks being put in to control run-off storm water and controls on the flow of sewage.

He said that the development would bring many benefits to the community, such as sports facilities and car parking, as well as going a long way to meeting Wickham’s housing target.

Winchester City Council has said that Wickham must take 250 new homes by 2031 as part of the district’s local plan.

Mr Jezeph said: ‘It is beneficial to the village, all the shops would have more people going in there.

‘There are no problems with school places. It is generally beneficial and Bewley Homes will be providing two sports pitches, 50 parking spaces and a pavilion.’

Wickham residents David Roger-Jones and Peter Lucas said they were concerned about sewage.

Mr Roger-Jones, of Fareham Road, said: ‘The big issue is sewage and until they resolve that then it is a non-starter.’

Mr Lucas said: ‘It is already under pressure – any more and it will just burst.’

But some residents were concerned about the village being squeezed by development, such as the proposed 6,000-home town Welborne, planned for fields nearby.

Melanie Pearson, of Manor Close, said: ‘There needs to be extra houses in the village although we have got Welborne coming so it seems a bit irrelevant. They are proposing 6,000 houses at Welborne so we really should be worried about those.’

A planning application is expected to be submitted later this autumn.

For more on the plan go to jezeph.co.uk.