Developer under fire as trees cause snags in Horndean car park

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DEVELOPERS have been branded ‘disgraceful’ over a new car park which is almost unusable because trees have been planted in parking spaces.

Now action could be taken against Linden Homes, the developer of the sprawling former Gales Brewery, over the farcical situation in Horndean – which has no disabled access.

Resident Jean Reynolds (left) and Councillor Dorothy Denton with one of the trees which prevent cars from parking easily. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143690-3)

Resident Jean Reynolds (left) and Councillor Dorothy Denton with one of the trees which prevent cars from parking easily. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143690-3)

Residents were promised a high-quality development after years of false starts but the car park is so poor that developers have been summoned to East Hampshire District Council next month to give answers on how they are going to put it right.

Councillor Dorothy Denston, whose ward covers the Gales Brewery redevelopment, said: ‘Disabled people are concerned they have to get up steps.

‘It’s not only disabled people, it’s anybody pushing a pram.

‘It’s just a disgrace. They have failed every recommendation they possibly can. Plans are plans. They have not stuck to them.

‘As far as parking a car, you need to be very careful not to scrape your car on the side of a metal tree protector. It’s ridiculous.’

The car park, which was to be the centre of the new village centre, was supposed to be similar to the square in Petersfield.

But it has been built lower down than it should have been which means disabled people have to use steps to get into the doctors’ surgery.

Parking spaces have been built around trees which have been protected by metal rails making some spaces unusable.

Horndean councillor Guy Shepherd said ‘serious shortcomings’ have been raised with Linden.

‘Last June a number of serious discrepancies between the car park to the new retail area in Horndean were identified compared to the approved plans,’ said Cllr Shepherd.

‘These were brought to the attention of the planning team, who raised them formally with Linden Homes expecting they would quickly be corrected.

‘Six months on and this has not yet occurred to the point where the planning managers at the council have taken a report to the planning committee which is the first step in enforcement.’

A Linden Homes spokesperson said: ‘We acknowledge and understand the concerns that have been expressed locally about the car park as it currently stands.

‘A review of the car park’s construction is already under way and, from this, we will come forward with technical solutions to address the current concerns as soon as practically possible.’