A NEW ‘garden village’, which could provide a rumoured 1,500 new homes on the Surrey and Hampshire border, is giving rise to concern among a growing number of folk living in the parish of Bentley.

Still supposedly under wraps and at the confidential stage, speculation is rife, fuelled last week by statements from East Hampshire District Council and Waverley Borough Council, as planners brace themselves for delivery of the next wave of Government housing figures, advocating the development of garden villages and cross-authority working in rural locations.

It was standing room only at a meeting of Bentley Parish Council on Monday (November 12) with residents determined to register their objections to any proposal that might come forward for the site at Northbrook Park, a 18th century manor house and wedding venue, on the A31 between Bentley and Farnham.

Residents heard it was one of four garden village sites being considered by East Hants as part of a call for housing sites for possible inclusion in its Local Plan.

The decision over possible sites is expected to be taken by East Hants’ development policy panel in December and will then be considered by cabinet before going out for public consultation later in the new year.

The site has not been included in Waverley’s Local Plan, nor in Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan, and no planning applications have been submitted as yet via any of the councils.

But there was still a high level of concern among residents, who pointed out that even without Surrey’s share of the site (amounting to two thirds), it could still leave the EHDC side with a possible development of 500 homes.

In a statement, Waverley said: “The site is not in Waverley’s Local Plan, adopted in February. Farnham’s HLAA, published in July, states that it is not included within its housing options. No planning application has been submitted to Waverley. If a planning application is submitted, or if the site is included by East Hants in its Local Plan, we will respond to the consultation.”