Family weighs up options over nursery rejection

Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council

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THE FAMILY who own one of the area’s biggest garden nurseries are considering their options after a major planning application for new premises was turned down for a second time.

The Strange family have owned Keydell Nurseries, currently based in Havant Road, Horndean, for more than 100 years.

On Thursday night they made a second attempt to get planning permission to build a nursery, garden centre, greenhouse and a 250 space car park at Mays Coppice Farm, off Whicher’s Gate Road, Rowlands Castle.

Despite planning officers at East Hampshire District Council recommending the amended plans be given the go ahead, in a shock move councillors on the planning committee turned it down in a vote of six councillors to three.

It followed a strong campaign to stop the development by some residents.

Caroline Jezeph, who acts as an agent for the family, said in a statement: ‘They are disappointed at the decision of East Hampshire District Council.

‘The detailed application had received a favourable recommendation from the planning officer but this was not supported by the planning committee.

‘Our clients are currently taking advice on a possible way forward in the next week or so.’

The application was refused on the grounds it would ruin an unspoilt stretch of East Hampshire countryside.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery wrote to the planning committee outlining his concerns over proposals to create a third filter lane which would give new access on the rural road which riders and pedestrians could use.

But Hampshire Country Council’s highway department had given the development the go-ahead saying it was satisfied with the road improvement proposals and the plans to introduce a 30mph speed limit .

Three years ago the land the company is currently based on was included in East Hampshire’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

Part of the site has been given the go ahead to be developed for housing.

In order for the rest of the site to be developed Keydell Nurseries must get permission to build a new centre elsewhere.

The Strange family were hoping it was going to be in Rowlands Castle and had amended the plans to try and appease residents who felt it would be too big.