‘Keydell Nurseries refusal won’t affect housing targets’

Keydell Nurseries wanted to move to Whichers Gate Road , the B2148 towards Emsworth  ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131579-5751)
Keydell Nurseries wanted to move to Whichers Gate Road , the B2148 towards Emsworth ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131579-5751)

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THE rejection of plans to move Keydell Nurseries will not have an impact on proposed numbers of new homes in the area, says a county councillor.

The government’s planning inspector turned down an appeal by the owners of Keydell who wanted to move the garden centre from Horndean to Rowlands Castle.

The Horndean site had been earmarked for 120 homes if permission had been given to the Rowlands Castle site.

Each local authority has to give the government estimates of how many homes they will need to accommodate the rising housing need in the next 15 years, known as the core strategy.

A figure of 9,720 was originally put forward by the council but it was forced to go back to the drawing board when the government questioned whether it was enough.

East Hampshire had originally included the Havant Road, Horndean site in its plans but the government’s planning inspector made the authority take the site out because its future was so uncertain.

But a new bid to find land available to develop, known as the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), is almost complete.

And Councillor Marge Harvey, who represents Horndean on Hampshire County Council, said they have been offered enough land to mean that the loss of the 120 potential homes at Keydell will not have an impact.

She said: ‘We have quite a few sites in Horndean and a couple that are large and will accommodate a large number of houses on land between Rowlands Castle and Horndean.

‘I explained at the inquiry that the houses earmarked for Keydell site were actually taken out of the core strategy, back in February.

‘No one can say that the Keydell plans being rejected will have an impact on housing numbers in Horndean. I did not ever feel that the Keydell plans for Rowlands Castle were right.’

The SHLAA is almost complete. The core strategy should be reassessed by the government in the autumn.

Residents in the area are celebrating the decision to reject the plans.