Revised Applegarth Farm homes plan submitted

Thursday 3rd September 2015 1:08 pm
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REVISED outline plans have been submitted for a development of 80 new

homes, including 34 affordable houses, next to Applegarth Farm in Grayshott.

Outline plans for a major residential development of 80 new homes – to

include 32 affordable houses at Applegarth

Vale – were refused by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) on June 30.

EHDC has already given the green light to a £3.5m business scheme to expand Applegarth Farm, which would be funded by the housing plan.

In June, planning committee members agreed there was a definite need for

affordable homes, but supported their officer’s recommendation to object

because it was a greenfield site outside the settlement policy boundary, which

would extend the built form of the village into the greenfield and reduce the

“Local Gap” between Grayshott and Headley Down.

Officers had also objected the application did not demonstrate a “genuine

and proven need” to build 80 homes in the countryside and it was surplus to

requirements, as EHDC already had a satisfactory five-year supply of land for

housing.

Responding to the three main grounds of objection to the earlier application,

a 58-page planning statement supporting the revised scheme stated: “The genuine and proven need for housing development is that it facilitates the

redevelopment of the Applegarth Farm site for employment and service development.

"Without the capital receipt from the proposed housing development that very worthwhile related proposal cannot proceed.

“The position with Local Gap policy was incorrectly reported to committee.

"The facts are that while there is a local gap policy in the joint core strategy

there is no plan of its boundaries and extent. Members of the planning committee were rightly impressed about the number of affordable homes proposed and the fact this would meet Grayshott’s need for affordable homes when there are no other potential sites in the parish.”

By Wednesday afternoon there had been four letters in support of the plan and eight objections.

Supporting the scheme, an Alton resident objected that Alton, Medstead and

Four Marks had had more than their fair share of development. He wrote: “Your

Grayshott representatives on the EHDC planning committee have been happy to

vote in favour in many cases.

“So people of Grayshott time for you to take your share.”

Opposing the plan, one local resident said: “I continue to object to the proposed development for the same reasons as our previous objection.

“The new version seems very similar to the original proposal. My main objection remains the site is outside the settlement boundary and within the settlement gap, between Headley Down and Grayshott, which gap should be maintained.

“This existing planning policy should not be contravened. The government

advice is brownfield sites should be used before greenfield ones.

“This land should be farmed not built on. The proposed development would

unacceptably affect amenities and the existing use of land which ought to be

protected in the public interest. It would generate traffic, which would adversely affect Grayshott village with congestion and parking problems and, inevitably, have an effect on road safety.

“Affordable homes should be much nearer to facilities. Applegarth is a very

long walk from Grayshott centre, especially with shopping and children.

“The development would set a precedent and make it more difficult to stop

any other applications in that area.”

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