Decision day looms for Behampton homes plan

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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FOR years campaigners have tried to stop a controversial development from being given the go-ahead.

But it now looks as if the 92-home estate planned for land next to the A3M, off Scratchface Lane in Bedhampton, will finally be approved on Thursday.

Planning officers at Havant Borough Council have recommended the development management committee gives the green light, despite scores of objections.

Jim Graham, who has led the campaign, says he is not happy committee members have not been asked to make a new visit to the site to make up their minds whether it is too noisy for people living near to it in the future.

It is one of the reasons why the committee originally turned down the plans 18 months ago.

He is also worried about the level of air pollution – although the council says this is well within safe levels.

Following the original decision the developer Crayfern Homes launched an appeal, which was held in public in February.

Although the government’s planning inspector again turned down the proposal, it was only on the grounds that the section 106 agreement – which sets out what the developer will give back to the community financially – needed to be tightened up.

He did not agree the site was too noisy.

Mr Graham said: ‘Following the opening of the Hindhead Tunnel, the A3M is much busier than when the last noise survey was carried out nearly three years ago.

‘The A3M is now the route of choice to the M25 for many truck drivers coming off the Portsmouth ferries.

‘Councillors should make a fresh visit to the site.’

The council said there had only been a slight change in committee membership and a new site visit was not necessary.

It also points out the inspector considered the changes since the Hindhead Tunnel opened in July 2011 and did not believe there had been any significant increase in air pollution and new tests were not required.

In a statement the council added: ‘Overall there is considered to be no evidence to support the view that changes in average traffic flows on the A3M are likely to have significant increased noise levels on the site. ‘

The meeting is 5pm at the Public Service Plaza.