Victory for people power as site for travellers refused

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VICTORY is being claimed by residents who fought to stop a pony paddock being turned into a site for travellers.

The council’s refusal to allow a travellers’ site near Denmead brings to an end a year-long battle to stop the development, which was proposed behind the historic Chairmakers’ Arms off Forest Road.

The applicants wanted the land for eight mobile homes, eight touring caravans and eight day rooms.

But residents had grave concerns about safety of traffic going in and out of the site because it is on a blind bend, as well as the impact on the surrounding community.

The development would have increased the population of the hamlet of World’s End by a quarter.

A total of 143 written objections were received by Winchester City Council, with one letter of support.

The first application last August, which was later revised, had attracted 180 objections.

Waterlooville’s MP George Hollingbery objected to the plan, as did the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Councillor Patricia Stallard, who represents Denmead, said: ‘It’s got to be a good thing when the council takes the voices of local residents very seriously.

‘There was a very strong voice of protest against this.’

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s a good thing it’s been refused.

‘It was totally in the wrong place. It was a ridiculous application. It would appear, for once, that Winchester has taken the right decision.’

Neil Lander-Brinkley, the chairman of Denmead Parish Council, said the parish’s emerging neighbourhood plan did include space to accommodate travellers.

But he said this site was overdevelopment and too far from services such as shops and schools. ‘We felt it was an unsustainable position and it was a major highway issue,’ he added.

A decision report by the council states the development is not sustainable for the location, pictured, and represents ‘significant overdevelopment’.

It adds: ‘The cramped and intense layout would be harmful to the rural character of this area.’

The agents for the development had previously stated there was an ‘urgent need’ for traveller sites.

A spokesman for WS Planning and Architecture said no decision had been made about whether to appeal the decision.