‘There are real concerns’ – views on Rowlands Castle housing boom

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A FLURRY of new housing developments could place great pressure on services in Rowlands Castle, residents have warned.

Villagers are worried as there could be more than 400 new homes built within the parish in the next few years if housing proposals come to fruition.

The latest application is 106 homes on land south of Oaklands House, including access off Whichers Gate Road.

Phase one of the Oaklands development, for 39 homes, is already well under way.

Meanwhile, land north of Eastleigh House Cottages, off Bartons Road, has been earmarked for up 55 homes and developers have expressed an interest.

Earlier this month, following a public inquiry, the government inspector ruled the Keyline Builders Merchant site could be transformed into a small 43-home estate.

And there are plans to build a huge estate at Hazleton Farm – with 200 homes on Rowlands Castle parish land.

The former brickworks has also been earmarked for development.

John Pickering, chairman of Rowlands Castle Parish Council, was concerned as East Hampshire District Council’s target for the village was 150 new homes.

He said: ‘We are feeling under quite a lot of pressure and of course the pressure is going to be on our infrastructure.

‘How do the roads cope? How does the surgery cope? These are real concerns.’

He added: ‘You can’t take one allocation and consider it in isolation. The trouble is this is the way it is being done.’

Dozens of written objections have been submitted about the Oaklands development.

One resident wrote: ‘The Oaklands Phase I development and Keyline development total 82 new homes being built in quick succession. We do not need or want another 106 on top. The loss of more woodland and fields would be extremely concerning as we are supposed to be a village, not an urban sprawl.’

Another said: ‘The Rowlands Castle Gap, which is the physical gap between Havant and Rowlands Castle, has been variously designated, but always protected hitherto. Development of the site would compromise the gap.’

However, one resident wrote: ‘I have often thought that the land in question could be suitable for housing.’