Hampshire farmland set to be turned into new estate

FUTURE An artist's impression of the Woodcroft Farm development near Wecock
FUTURE An artist's impression of the Woodcroft Farm development near Wecock
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PLANS for a large new housing estate to be built north of Waterlooville were approved last night – but there were words of caution about the potential impact on traffic.

Councillors voted unanimously to approve 288 homes at Woodcroft Farm, a 24-acre stretch of agricultural land near Wecock and Lovedean.

It is set to be the first phase of a larger development, with adjacent land within East Hampshire and Winchester districts earmarked for up to 700 homes.

A new mini-roundabout will be built in Eagle Avenue, Wecock, for the main access.

A mini-roundabout will also go at the junction of Lovedean Lane and Milton Road and there will be improvements to the Hambledon Road and Milton Road roundabout.

Cowplain councillor David Keast told Havant Borough Council’s planning committee to insist that road improvements came before construction as Milton Road was at saturation point for traffic.

He added: ‘It’s partly because 10 per cent of traffic from the A3 has come down to Milton Road.’

A report says the development would generate an extra 36 cars needing to use the Lovedean Lane and Milton Road junction at peak hours.

Steve Mountain, the council’s special projects engineer, said the roundabout improvements would come early in the construction.

However, he said the access road from Eagle Avenue would not be built to highway standards until 150 homes had been built.

The plans, submitted by Derwent Developments Ltd, include 87 affordable units and most of the properties will be houses as it was considered there are already a large number of flats in the area.

Five of the homes would be accessed via Woodcroft Lane.

Cllr Paul Buckley, who sits on the committee, said the lack of public deputations on the plans signified the general acceptance in the community to the proposals.

He said: ‘The consultation has been quite significant.

‘I know people will bemoan the loss of open farmland, but this site has been in the plan for a considerable length of time.

‘We have to move it forward to achieve the amount of houses we need.’