Details of plans for controversial estate unveiled

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane 

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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RESIDENTS who put up a dramatic fight to save fields from a developer have been given a first glimpse of what the new estate will look like.

Controversial plans to build 280 homes on farmland between Emsworth and Westbourne were given the go-ahead in November despite hundreds of objections from both sides of the Hampshire and West Sussex border.

The detailed plans were unveiled at a public exhibition by developer Linden Homes Southern at Emsworth Sports and Social Club yesterday.

They will include 196 private homes and 84 social housing units.

There will be a doctors’ surgery, village green, five apartment blocks and up to 30 allotments. The highest building will be three storeys.

There were concerns regarding drainage and pavements but there was also some hope that it will help young families who could not afford to buy a home in either village, finally get on the property ladder in the area.

Natalie Repton, 29, currently rents in the town where she grew up. She said: ‘I think I’m probably one of the only people that’s really positive about this development.

‘It’s so hard to buy in Emsworth because it’s become such an elite area.

‘I’m married with a little boy and I want him to grow up in Emsworth where there are good schools and this could be our chance.

‘I want to know the timescale and what sort of offers the developers are going to give people who buy off-plan. It could be our only chance to buy a home here.’

Louise Jones, from Westbourne, fears that on the eastern side of the estate, where there are no pavements, it will be difficult to negotiate for those with limited mobility.

She said: ‘My son is in a wheelchair and we’ve had experience of these so-called shared surfaces on the Kingfisher Drive estate in Westbourne. I don’t like them. I sometimes have to push my son’s wheelchair through the middle of the road because of the way the cars are parked.

‘The developers are going to have to rethink this.’

And issues about the proposed balancing pond in the south east of the site have also been raised.

John Reynold, of Westwood Close, Westbourne, said: ‘Where it is proposed for the allotments to go is currently just a large pool of water. That area is very prone to flooding and I’m not sure a balancing pond is enough to cope with all the new homes.’

The plans are expected to go before Havant Borough Council later this year.