Residents hail a victory in fight to save green spaces

Helen Burch at her Southsea home, but still waiting for a bed Picture: Malcolm Wells

CONSUMER: The perils of using Groupon - missing bed causes Helen sleepless nights

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PEOPLE power has managed to persuade a council into a rethink over major housing plans.

A housing rush is currently gripping the Horndean area, with several controversial developments in the offing.

A public consultation last month revealed the vast majority of people wanted most of the development at Hazleton Farm – which is close to the A3(M) junction and could accommodate all of the village’s 700-home target.

East Hampshire District Council was poised to approve plans for 40 homes in Lovedean Lane – part of a bigger housing plan for the area.

The application was recommended for approval at the meeting last Thursday, but at the eleventh hour the council’s head of planning removed it from the agenda.

Dave Gorshkov, a resident of Lovedean, said: ‘We are pleased the council has finally woken up to the fact that residents have opinions here that should be heard.

‘We’re pleased they have taken account of the public meeting at Merchistoun Hall where the overwhelming view that Hazleton Farm was the right place to do this development rather than continue to destroy and erode the very slim amount of open space we have in this area.’

Horndean councillor Guy Shepherd said there are 1,412 homes in the planning process for Horndean – and it would be wrong to consider them on a first-come, first-served basis.

He said: ‘It’s brave, it’s bold and it shows us the consultation held a lot of weight.’

Cllr Sara Schillemore, whose ward has had most of the development proposals, said: ‘This is exceptionally good news. The housing consultation which was arranged for by the five Horndean district councillors gave an overwhelmingly clear result on where housing should and should not go.’

The decision means the Lovedean application will be held back from consideration for the time being.

A statement from the council said: ‘A recent public exhibition relating to potential housing site preferences and infrastructure requirements in the Horndean settlement area was carried out.

‘In view of the strong public interest in this issue it has been decided by the executive head of service, Julia Potter, to withdraw this item from the agenda to allow for a full assessment and consideration of the results of this exercise prior to a decision being made.’