Residents and groups meet with company to discuss 260-home plan for Emsworth at forum

PLANS were outlined and concerns were voiced at a meeting about proposals to build 260 new homes on a greenfield site.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th April 2018, 10:33 pm
Updated Friday, 20th April 2018, 10:51 pm
Residents and groups gathering at the development consultation forum at Havant Borough Councils Public Service Plaza. Picture: Richard Kennett
Residents and groups gathering at the development consultation forum at Havant Borough Councils Public Service Plaza. Picture: Richard Kennett

Residents, councillors and group representatives well-attended Land and Partners’ development consultation forum, to find out more about the company’s plans to build homes on an Emsworth field.

But many are still objecting to the proposals, which involve a field north of Long Copse Lane, near to Westbourne.

As previously reported in The News, many have concerns about traffic, drainage problems, wildlife, and pressure on local services.

Jonathan Harbottle, director of Land and Partners, said: ‘We felt it was a worthwhile and constructive exercise for us to be able to explain the technical aspects and background to the project, and get direct questions back in the open forum, which we were then able to answer openly.

‘One of the outcomes from the direct engagement is that we are now working with several residents opposite the site, to understand the problems some of them are having with drainage, and to explore how we can improve their existing situations as part of the new development.

‘A point made was that we need to ensure there are enough parking spaces in the layout, the densities should not be excessive.

‘And the character of Long Copse Lane should be preserved by not changing the character too much.’

Jonathan said that as the lowest parts of the site front Long Copse Lane, open-water drainage areas can be put at the front, so that the area is kept open.

He said this would minimise the impact on the neighbours opposite the site.

Representatives from the Emsworth and Westbourne areas were invited to speak on behalf of groups and residents, including Charles Ashe from Emsworth Residents Association, and Roy Briscoe from Westbourne Parish Council – both of which object to the proposals.

Havant Borough Councillor for Emsworth, Richard Kennett, also objects – and said he would be supporting the action group residents are planning to set-up in response to the plans.

He said: ‘The event was very well-attended and it shows just how much people care about what’s going on.

‘People are worried about traffic movement on Long Copse Lane, and also the protection of the bats on-site.’

Councillors raised queries about schools, doctors surgeries and cycling routes, which Land and Partners said it has agreed to investigate.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, chair of Westbourne Parish Council’s planning committee, said: ‘‘Planning policy over many years has protected the countryside around Westbourne to maintain its identity and character, and we urge Havant Borough Council to continue to protect this important gap in the urban fringe.

‘We do not consider the locations as suitable for the development.

It is remote from local community infrastructure and services that are available in Havant.’