PROTECTING an historic conservation area was a key issue at the public exhibition of a proposed development.
The public were invited to Bedhampton Social Hall to view and comment on developer Bargate’s plans to build 50 homes in Bedhampton.
Concerns about access to the site, south of Lower Road, were aired – as roads leading into it would pass through the adjacent Old Bedhampton conservation area.
And Havant Borough councillor for the area Ken Smith has said he fully backs residents in opposing the plans.
Ron Tate, project manager for action group Save Old Bedhampton, said: ‘Historically the area is so significant, and the impact on it is not outweighed by having 50 houses that could be put on other, less sensitive sites.
‘All traffic has to go through the conservation area and it goes around three blind corners that there are problems on already.
‘We’ve presented Havant Borough Council with a petition to get the potential use of the site taken out of its Draft Local Plan 2036. It got more than 1,700 signatures.’
The greenfield site is bordered by homes to the north and agricultural land to the south – and is predominantly agricultural land itself.
Councillor Ken Smith said: ‘Myself included, all three councillors for Bedhampton are 100 per cent behind the residents, but we have to go through the exercise we’re going through, to assess the site.
‘We’re presenting a case so the inspectors can see we’ve worked on this and come to a proper conclusion – and that is that the development shouldn’t go ahead.
‘The access planned for the site is ridiculous.’
The listed buildings of the Church of St Thomas and Bedhampton Rectory are near to the site.
Katherine Child, development director for Bargate, said: ‘This is a chance for residents to view our first-stage plans and share their thoughts. We’ll take away the comments and we’ll be holding a development consultation forum with the council in the future.’