Developer sells on land earmarked for new housing estate

Councillor Luke Stubbs

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LAND between Emsworth and Westbourne which is earmarked for new homes has been sold off by a developer.

But the new owners have pledged to continue with plans to build on the area, known as Hampshire Farm.

Linden Homes spent several years consulting residents over the plans for 280 homes.

The firm eventually won planning permission from Havant Borough Council last October after overcoming fierce opposition from residents who feared the loss of green space.

Work was expected to start early this year but the 8.5 acres of land has been sold to a partnership between Bellway Homes and Bloor Homes.

There were fears that the new developers may seek to change plans for the site.

Chris Clode is a member of the flood action group, which worked with Linden pushing for measures to prevent more flooding in the area when the homes are built.

He said: ‘It seems Linden were made an offer they could not refuse.

‘I believe they are retaining the same planning consultant and that’s a good thing as we (the action group) get on very well with him.

‘We are awaiting a meeting with the new owners to see if they have any plans to change the number or type of housing.

‘We need to make sure that whatever their anti-flooding measures are, they are robust enough to be able to deal with major flooding.’

Since outline planning was agreed in 2010, the Emsworth Residents Association has worked with Linden to come up with an acceptable scheme.

Julian Kenyon, a spokesman for Bellway Homes, said the partnership planned to continue with the original application.

‘Our intention is to implement the approved plan Linden have got anyway,’ said Mr Kenyon.

‘We hope to start work about March or April.

‘You often get deals like this between landowners and housebuilders.

‘It’s a situation where we obviously think it can work for us and we will be continuing Linden’s plans.’

Linden’s managing director Matt Paine said: ‘Following the successful granting of planning permission for the reserved matters application for the Hampshire Farm site, a commercial opportunity was presented to Linden Homes for consideration.

‘After a careful and thorough review, the decision was taken to sell the Hampshire Farm site with the benefit of the planning permission obtained.’