Decision put off over bid to build 3,500 new homes at Whiteley

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A DECISION on a 3,500-home expansion of Whiteley has been deferred.

The scheme would have seen two new neighbourhoods built north of the town, separated by a ‘green wedge’.

Winchester City Council’s planning committee initially unanimously turned down the application at a meeting at Solent Hotel in Whiteley out of concerns over road management, affordable housing and environmental impact.

But after failing to find a legal reason for refusal, they agreed to defer the decision.

The major issue was traffic, with many people at the meeting saying they wanted Whiteley Way to be expanded before the housing works began. But that was not planned until the fourth year of the eight-year development.

Whiteley resident Wendy Blackwell said the work would cause havoc on the roads, delay emergency services and endanger lives.

She said: ‘I completely object because the current problems in Whiteley would be exacerbated by this and you don’t even have a specific infrastructure plan.’

Councillor Vivian Achwal said the plan was unworkable. She said Whiteley’s roads were busy enough, with more than 1,000 cars already coming into the town every day via the M27.

She said: ‘We cannot get in and out of Whiteley by Junction 9. It is effectively a death trap.’

The council has a target of 40 per cent affordable housing for new developments.

But the plan included 525 affordable homes – just 15 per cent of the total – and a £17.5m ‘off-site contribution’ which the council would have spent on housing in other areas.

Councillor Ian Tait said: ‘It’s a good application fundamentally, but I’m struggling to understand what the wider community would get out of this.’

The plan included a community centre, nursery, two primary and one secondary school and shops.