Rowlands Castle builders merchant site given green light for housing

Keyline Builders, in Rowlands Castle has been granted permission for the development at its site off Redhill Road
Keyline Builders, in Rowlands Castle has been granted permission for the development at its site off Redhill Road
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THE government’s planning inspector has upheld an appeal for a small housing estate.

Keyline Builders, in Rowlands Castle, were refused permission by East Hampshire District Council to build homes on the site of the builders merchant off Redhill Road.

They appealed to the inspector who has now agreed that the development of 43 homes can go ahead.

John Pickering, the chairman of Rowlands Castle Parish Council, said he is pleased with the decision.

And he said by the time the appeal came up the council had ironed out the issues with ecology and affordable housing which had originally meant the application was rejected.

For many years people had complained about the noise of the lorries rumbling through the quiet village to and from the builders merchant.

‘I think people will be pleased that the site, which has led to quite a lot of heavy traffic, will be turned over to appropriate housing,’ said Mr Pickering.

‘The hearing gave us an opportunity to emphasise that what we want is accommodation in the village that people in larger houses can downsize to.’

One of the main sticking points of the application was the number of affordable homes.

Keyline offered no affordable units when the application was first submitted but in the end a figure of eight was agreed on by all parties.

Councillor Marge Harvey, who represents the village on East Hampshire District Council, said of the decision: ‘I think it was inevitable.

‘I fought for as many affordable as I could. It’s a fair decision.’

The development will be made up of 21 two bedroom homes, including six bungalows, 10 three bedroom homes and 12 four bedroom houses.

Planning inspector John Woolcock said in his report that although there were some reservations, there was also considerable local support for the plan.

He added: ‘The appeal scheme would make a significant contribution to boosting the supply of housing in the district, and the affordable housing provision would be beneficial.

‘I find that the proposal would be sustainable development to which the presumption in the framework should apply. The benefits of the proposed development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh any harm.’