Developer angers Denmead villagers with huge advertising signs

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VILLAGERS who failed in their battle to stop a housing development are furious after the developer put up huge advertising hoardings without permission.

Taylor Wimpey was finally given the go ahead to develop Little Frenchies Field, in Hambledon Road, Denmead, last year after the government’s Planning Inspector ruled there was an urgent need for affordable housing in the borough.

Now the firm has put up two 20ft high advertising signs in the field stating new homes are on the way.

It also gives a phone number for the sales team – even though it does not yet own the field and building work has not started.

Advertising cannot be put up without permission and villagers are outraged the council has not forced the firm to take the signs down.

Four original signs were daubed with anti-development graffiti and had to be taken down.

They have been replaced by two signs and Jim Kerr, who led the Keep Little Frenchies Field Green campaign, said he wants them taken down immediately.

Mr Kerr said: ’I can see the signs from my bedroom window.

‘We’re in a position where the council know Taylor Wimpey is breaching planning law but they are not willing to do anything about it. The signs were up for eight weeks before they even put a planning application in for them.

‘We feel the signs are dangerous – they are at the side of the road and could put off drivers. What would the council do if a normal household did this?

‘Are the council not doing anything just because Taylor Wimpey have a lot of money to fight them?’

Winchester College still owns the land and the sale is not due to be finalised until September.

A spokesman for the college said it felt the signs were a little ‘premature’,

Eleanor Davies, from Winchester City Council, said the developer had been made aware the council was unhappy with the signs.

But she said the council had decided to wait until the outcome of the firm’s planning application before acting as the signs are not considered unsafe.

In a statement Taylor Wimpey said the advertisings were ‘coming soon’ signs. It added that the land purchase was under negotiation and would be resolved in the near future.