Campaigners plant thousands of spring bulbs in Emsworth in bid to protect field from being built over 

The Save Long Copse Lane campaign group planted 8,000 mixed spring bulbs along the lane in Emsworth hoping for a big bloom in spring
The Save Long Copse Lane campaign group planted 8,000 mixed spring bulbs along the lane in Emsworth hoping for a big bloom in spring

CAMPAIGNERS have planted thousands of spring bulbs along a lane to show how concerned they are about protecting the green space and wildlife that lives there from housing development.

About 40 residents joined the Save Long Copse Lane group in planting 8,000 mixed bulbs along the lane, next to an Emsworth field, that could see 260 homes built on it.

Many concerns about Land and Partners’ plans have been raised – including the increase in traffic on the rural, narrow lane.

The company said it has been listening to concerns and has come up with a solution to the drainage issue in the area, and has released a booklet with answers to questions asked by locals.

Anna Tonkin, part of the campaign group, said: ‘We’re looking forward seeing the lane come into bloom in spring.

‘Lots of us use it every day and enjoy the natural landscape. We’ve picked native species of bulbs to ensure that continues.

‘We hope in spring, when councillors and planning officials could be considering the planning application, the blooms will be a colourful reminder of how concerned we all are about the lane and protecting the green space and wildlife that lives there.’

The lane is on the edge of the South Downs National Park and links Emsworth with Westbourne. Some councillors have objected to the plans.

The group’s concerns include the lack of infrastructure available to support the homes, or plans to improve it, and the lane losing its character following plans to widen it.

Jonathan Harbottle, director at Land and Partners, said: ‘We’re carrying out widening in places at the western end of the lane so cars can easily pass, but most will stay as it is.

‘We’re setting the houses back from the lane and have lots of generous, wide buffers inside our site frontage that we will be planted and landscaped. It will feel very spacious and we don’t think the character will change.’

He said the group has come up with a way to solve the surface water flooding issues the lane has as part of its plans and that once proposals have been finalised a planning application will be submitted to the council.