Campaigners demand end to 'destructive' bid for 200 homes north of Emsworth

MORE than 200 new homes could be built in Emsworth in plans campaigners have branded ‘destructive’ and ‘inappropriate’.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 11:43 am

A planning application for 210 homes on land north of Long Copse Lane has been submitted to Havant Borough Council.

The plans could see the demolition of existing buildings and development of a new residential scheme.

Councillor Richard Kennett attempted to have the site removed from Havant Borough Council’s local plan in a bid to stop development, but was unsuccessful.

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The Save Long Copse Lane group. Andrew Hunnibal is centre.

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He said: ‘I have brought together the Save Long Copse Lane group, Emsworth Forum, Emsworth Residents Association and Westbourne Parish Council to work together to fight this proposal as it impacts both on Emsworth and Westbourne.

‘It remains a totally inappropriate development and location for up to 260 properties.

‘There is a lack of infrastructure meaning there would be thousands of additional car journeys down a country lane, let alone the environmental devastation caused to the various habitats and the destruction of this tranquil area when it is torn up for houses, many of which will be unaffordable to local people.’

However, Jonathan Walton, senior director at developer Pegasus Group, said: ‘There has been a huge level of analysis and assessment of the scheme over several years and all the arguments have been rehearsed many times through various public consultation processes.

‘As the council has stipulated, there is a shortfall in its housing land supply.

‘There is also very significant housing need in the borough, particularly for young families and new starters.

‘Our site will include at least 63 affordable homes.

‘Councillors have acknowledged this housing need as well as the means to resolve it, voting at Full Council to support the Local Plan as submitted for examination.’

He also pointed out that the site is set to have a new drainage solution, and a play space open to the public, as well as ecological benefits including planting and a bat habitat. Outline plans have been submitted.

Andrew Hunnibal, a member of Save Long Copse Lane, says that this plan fails Westbourne residents.

The campaigner said: ‘If Havant Borough Council insists on giving permission to proceed with the development North of Long Copse, then there will be a serious impact on both the Emsworth and Westbourne communities.

‘It is not just local residents making a fuss. Local councillors and the Emsworth Residents

Association are fully supporting our campaign and have published similar concerns and are firmly against the proposal.’

Andrew says that many local people are concerned about potential issues including sewage capacity and the impact on wildlife.

He added: ‘Westbourne councillors have highlighted that traffic volumes through the village are unacceptable and they fear that the village will be overwhelmed.’

Plans also include landscaping, and access and supporting infrastructure.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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