Stargazers are worried about threat from light pollution

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ASTRONOMERS have pleaded with a council to make sure a housing development does not cause light pollution and interfere with their stargazing.

The plea comes as plans have been submitted to East Hampshire District Council to build 18 homes on land north of Trafalgar Rise, in Clanfield.

The plans have been drawn up by developers Southcott Homes after an application for 14 homes on the site was refused last year.

A statement by Hampshire Astronomical Group to the council says: ‘Given the very close proximity to our observatory, we are most concerned that the lighting complies with the latest guidelines.

‘The Hampshire Astronomical Group has the largest non-professional observatory in the UK and is at Hinton Heights above Clanfield.

‘The group is engaged in astronomical work which not only supports its members but is also used by many members of the community through education outreach. Additionally the observatory is working closely with the University of Portsmouth on a number of astronomical projects.

‘The group strongly requests that there is particular attention paid to the lighting scheme connected with this development.’

The plans have attracted mixed views.

One resident told the council: ‘I object to this very much as my mother lives in Trafalgar Road and her back garden is her place to relax in and enjoy. The view will be gone.’

Another neighbour wrote: ‘I consider the proposed development is needed – not everyone wants to live in a large estate.’

A final decision will be made at a later date.