Anger as fresh homes plan could threaten villages

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VILLAGES could be threatened with being swallowed up by urban sprawl as thousands of new homes are on the cards.

There was anger as plans for major development in and around Horndean, Lovedean, Catherington, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle were laid out at a heated public meeting.

Alan Key, chairman of Lovedean Residents' Association

Alan Key, chairman of Lovedean Residents' Association

More than 100 people went to Horndean Technology College as planning officers presented a new housing plan for East Hampshire.

It comes as the government told East Hampshire District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority to go back to the drawing board on a planning blueprint – called the Joint Core Strategy – over concerns more homes were needed to stimulate economic growth.

The preferred option for 11,990 homes is set to go out for consultation next Friday until September 20.

The Horndean area has been earmarked for 1,190 new homes over the next 15 years – 700 of which have yet to be allocated sites.

Clanfield would take 521 new homes – with 200 yet to be found land. Rowlands Castle would take 242 new homes, with 150 homes yet to be found sites.

Residents were angry that it appeared disproportionate development was taking place outside the national park, with Petersfield earmarked for between 600 and 900 new homes.

Alan Key, chairman of Lovedean Residents’ Association, said: ‘Horndean has not got a (railway) station. We only have about three or four buses an hour going into Portsmouth. Something is not right.’

Margaret White, from Clanfield Parish Council, said: ‘I would just like to know how you expect Clanfield’s infrastructure to cope with the amount of houses that are going to be built?’

Horndean Councillor David Evans said: ‘Why is our green space of five hectares worth so much less than the 29,000 hectares elsewhere in the national park?’

But Julia Potter, head of planning for East Hampshire, said: ‘In Horndean, whether you like it or not, there’s a lot of sites available. There are sites that could deliver nearly 2,500 homes. There are other areas that are constrained.’

Mr Key added: ‘We will lose the whole ethos of being a village.’