Rook Farm: Plan to build hundreds of new homes on Hayling Island sparks anger

Plans to build up to 300 homes on Hayling Island have drawn criticism from locals and government inspectors.

By Toby Paine
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 12:15 pm

The housing development would see affordable housing, green spaces, play areas and new roads to the site on Rook Farm.

Currently, there are 379 public comments made to the outline application, many of which object to the proposal.

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The Rook Farm development on Hayling Island

Concerns about the loss of green space, air and noise pollution, a struggling sewage system and an already congested traffic network were raised.

One public comment stated: ‘It really does not need the public to point out how nonsensical developments of this type are on Hayling - an island with one access road, projections of flooding and a creaking infrastructure.

‘Really planners, councillors and developers should have the sense to look for new town opportunities to fulfil the need for mass new housing.’

The plans also drew criticism from the government’s planning inspectorate, their interim’s finding report raised concerns over a Brent Geese mitigation solution.

The report said: ‘The site's importance relates mainly to Brent Geese. In this regard, it is subject to an outstanding objection from Natural England. The site is identified as a ‘core area’.

‘In order to mitigate the loss of the appeal site, it is likely that any replacement site would need to be on Hayling Island.

‘At the time of the hearings, no such replacement site had been secured, despite the scheme first being proposed for development in an outline application that was refused planning permission in 2017.’

In their design and access statement, the applicants say the development will address the borough housing supply shortfall.

The statement said: ‘With a growing population, Havant and Hayling Island have a demonstrable need for more housing and additional new deliverable sites are required.

‘Approval of this development will help towards addressing the present shortfall of housing within the borough.’

Currently, the borough has built 1,867 homes from a target of 2,369 over the past five years.