Flood risk report holds up decision on Denvilles homes

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THE decision over whether almost 200 new homes can be built in Havant has been delayed for more than a month.

Dozens of residents opposed to the plans for Copseys Nursery and Manor Farm, in Denvilles, gathered at Havant Borough Council last night to hear the debate on the future of the site.

But they discovered a vital piece of information provided by the developer – the Flood Risk Assessment – was not accepted by the Environment Agency which objected on the grounds it did not consider the impact on Nore Farm Stream to the north of the site.

The agency said it did not address infiltration problems at the site either.

Councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, who sits on the development management control committee, immediately asked for a deferment.

That was opposed by Karl Gebhart, acting for developers The Generator Group, who said a new assessment had been submitted to the agency but it had not had time to respond to it.

Cllr Gibb-Gray said: ‘There are a number of issues here, one or two about details and who is being tardy.

‘We will never get to the bottom of that.

‘The residents of Denvilles, Warblington and Emsworth will be very interested to see what the flood risk is saying and we can not move forward without it.’

He added: ‘I ask that next time we don’t get the report at the last minute so we’re left with no choice but to approve or refuse, probably for the wrong reasons.’

Planning officer Chris Murray suggested officers could make a decision at a later date under delegated powers but Cllr Gibb-Gray was also opposed to that.

He said: ‘I’m not happy about leaving this to delegated powers, with the best will in the world. It’s not going to be any good for anyone if the detail is not looked at with the degree of scrutiny that we as a committee can offer.’

The plans are for 191 homes with access from Glenleigh Park, Hallett Road, Fifth Avenue and Blenheim Gardens. There are fears the roads and drainage system will not cope with extra homes.

The application will be heard on April 18.