Residents win the day in the fight to save countryside near Horndean

Land at White Dirt Farm, near Clanfield, has been saved from developers
Land at White Dirt Farm, near Clanfield, has been saved from developers
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plans to develop a cherished stretch of countryside have been thrown out.

After months of worry for neighbouring residents, officers at East Hampshire District Council have refused plans for 135 homes on White Dirt Farm, one of the last green spaces between Horndean and Clanfield.

The authority said the proposals would ‘significantly harm’ the landscape and character of the area and have a ‘harmful urbanising’ effect.

There were 224 letters objecting to the plan by Taylor Wimpey, with just one person writing in support.

Jan Smith, who lives opposite White Dirt Farm, said: ‘We are absolutely over the moon.

‘Common sense has prevailed. It was never going to be a sustainable location.’

The council has a target of 700 new homes for Horndean and many residents are pinning their hopes on the housing being built at Hazleton Farm, close to junction 2 of the A3(M).

Local councillor Sara Schillemore said: ‘In refusing this application the council has taken into account the many objective and relevant comments from members of the public and worked closely with both of the district councillors whose wards would be affected by this proposal.

‘This site is important gap land to separate Catherington, Clanfield and Horndean and because of the slope any development would be very apparent and bridge the gap.’

She added: ‘I sincerely hope that Taylor Wimpey can clearly see that an appeal would be a waste of time and money.’

Cllr Guy Shepherd, who covers the adjacent Downs ward, said: ‘The White Dirt Farm application has been a constant source of concern for our community for the last 10 months. The support we received from the residents was overwhelming.

‘The planning team at the council has done us proud in rejecting the application and if Taylor Wimpey appeals we expect the planning inspector to support East Hants’ decision.’

He said the decision indicated that other controversial developments in Lovedean and 73 homes on a horse field off Chalk Hill Road were not welcome.

A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said they were disappointed with the decision and are considering their options.