New objection lodged against developer’s bid for homes on green gap

Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney

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A NEW objection has been lodged against a developer’s bid to build 192 homes on a former strategic gap.

The Chichester Harbour Conservancy (CHC) say the project would see the ‘erosion of a green wildlife corridor’ on land known as the Emsworth Gap.

Concerns have also been raised that the harbour could be polluted without adequate sewerage systems in place required to cope with the new homes.

Permission for Havant Borough Council to delay their decision about the application has also been granted until April, to enable Baratt Homes to address consultee’s issues and prepare an infrastructure delivery statement.

Malinda Griffin from Protect Our Green Spaces, said: ‘Destruction of important open land, loss of grade one agricultural land, damage to the quality of life lived by residents and wildlife, and a strain on services and infrastructure, is not acceptable on the scale proposed in the housing statement.

‘Most particularly since the new homes will not actually be affordable, do not address urgent social housing needs, and do nothing to improve deteriorating urban centres such as Havant town.’

Other residents associations and community groups are in opposition of the development, applied for last year, on the land west of Selangor Avenue.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘The site was identified as an “early release” site in the Local Plan Housing Statement, so needs to be considered when determining this application.

‘The housing need up to 2036 means we have to leave no stone unturned in the search for sustainable sites for housing development.’

Ray Cobbett, from Friends of the Earth Havant, said: ‘The area used to be known as a “strategic gap”, protection of which has disappeared.

‘The site is hemmed on two sides by noisy, polluting, traffic and is susceptible to flooding.

While Andrew Norton, from the Warblington and Denvilles Residents Association, added: ‘The area is a wildlife corridor, if they seal it off they will destroy the route. We believe the number of homes forecast in the Local Plan is based on an overly optimistic economic forecast for the area.’