Call for ‘serious discussion’ as new Lovedean homes are lined up

Gerald Vernon-Jackson at the election count this month Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180470-5)

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FRUSTRATED residents are calling for a ‘serious and informed debate’ about the future of Lovedean as the village is earmarked for a string of new housing developments.

Tensions are running high as major housebuilding could be in the pipeline along Lovedean Lane, where several of the fields are earmarked for potential development.

The first plan to come foward is by Bargate Homes for 40 homes at the back of 185 to 189A Lovedean Lane.

The big concern for residents is about flooding and lack of infrastructure – and they are worried this message is not being heard by their local councillors and planning officers at East Hampshire District Council.

Alan Key, chairman of Lovedean Village Residents’ Association, said: ‘There are some extremely important issues regarding any development on the farmland in Lovedean due to the huge flooding problem.

‘On February 7, a 2ft wall of water cascaded along the road.

‘This and other issues require serious discussion, not only within East Hampshire District Council but also the Environment Agency, Portsmouth Water and Hampshire County Council.

‘This is important to not only Lovedean residents but also all residents of the East Hampshire area and must be discussed at planning committee level with as much input from the residents as possible.’

Around 40 residents went to a public meeting at Horndean’s Jubilee Hall in which local MP George Hollingbery spoke.

The Meon Valley MP said the best direction for residents was to support potential development at Hazelton and Pyle Farm, near Horndean, which are considered to have better infrastructure.

Sara Schillemore, the conservative councillor for Lovedean, confirmed the 40-home proposal would be going to planning committee, probably in April.

‘It has to go to committee,’ she said. ‘It’s outside of the local plan.’

She said she was unable to express any view at this time as she sits on the planning committee.

But she has organised a site visit at the end of this month.

Ms Schillemore added: ‘I have to go to the planning committee with an open mind.’

The Environment Agency has said the development must try to reduce surface run-off to prevent flooding.