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New Houses Report

Planning Committee hears strong objections to proposed new housing development

Monday night saw a stream of parishioners objecting to a proposed new housing development in Liphook.

The monthly Parish Council Planning Committee meeting, saw a substantial public attendance of more than 20 parishoners, and it was standing-room only at the Parish Office in Midhurst Road.

The proposed development, in land to the rear of 20-22 Longmoor Road, would mean the purchase of about one-third of the rear gardens of both properties, and vehicle access via The Grove (which runs down the side of George’s Fish and Chips shop).

However, the developer, Peak Quality Homes Ltd, had perhaps overlooked the fact that The Grove is a private road, owned jointly by its residents. And they strongly objected to having an increase in traffic past their homes, accessing the proposed 9 new three- and four-bedroom homes.

Councillor Jim Walters, who is Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, had the application before him after a site inspection, and told the Planning Committee meeting that, as the proposed development was a full, detailed application, he considered that a full response, dealing with all aspects of the application, was required.

Jim Walters had four main concerns, he told the meeting:

  • Access to the site. The Grove is a private road with poor access. The residents own the road under covenant and access would double the number of cars using the road.
  • The area is a wet site, with flooding and drainage problems.
  • The application referred to payment in lieu of provision of Open Space (this is a planning requirement now for housing developments over a certain size). Jim Walters argued that there should be an Open Space within the development, for children to play, as the proposed houses would have very small gardens.
  • The proposed houses would be mostly two-storey semi-detacheds and fairly cramped – which would not be in keeping with those in The Grove and Headley Road (or Longmoor Road near to or adjoining the proposed site – ed.).

    Among the parishioners who objected to the proposed development were Mr Baldwin (10 The Grove). Mr Baldwin said that the application was invalid, as the developer had not notified the owners of the road.

    Mr Coombes (39 Headley Road) claimed that it can be very difficult to pull out along this section of Headley Road, and he had sometimes had to wait for six minutes, to be able to safely drive his car from his house.

    Mr Holden (8 The Grove) stated that the developers were wrong in claiming that the development only covered parts of the gardens of 20 and 22 Longmoor Road, as it also included The Grove. He added that the proposed new houses would overlook the existing houses and bungalows in The Grove (as they would some of the bungalows in Longmoor Road – ed.).

    In all there were 9 listed official objections by the Planning Committee and their report now goes to the Planning Committee of East Hampshire District Council, who will consider the application shortly.

    Old Liphook Coachworks site development Meanwhile, there was less controversy later in the meeting, as Councillors and members of the public looked at plans for the proposed development of the old Liphook Coachworks site on the corner of Station Road and Portsmouth Road.

    Parishoners will know that the company recently vacated the site, for new, larger premises on the Beaver Industrial Estate.

    The proposal, by Roroto Limited, is that the former car repairers premises be demolished and new houses and flat built on the site. The proposed development would include the house alongside the business premises, which is in an elevated position and until recently was the premises of letting agents Keyworth, Wright and Phillips.

    The proposed new development would have five two-storey houses and eight flats. With so many possible cars using the site, it has been proposed that access to the development would be via Portsmouth Road, through an archway similar to nearby Harris Court, and there would be a vehicle exit onto Station Road, fairly close to the corner of the road. This was one of the concerns voiced by Councillors, who noted that the development would be three-storeys high around the corner of the plot and visibility for traffic might be restricted, with a limited amount of space for planting at the front of the site.

    After some debate and with two public interventions, by Shaun Galthess, the developer, and Mr Feeney (37 Portsmouth Road), the Planning Committee agreed not to object to the proposed development, provided the roofline is not too high and they would also ask for a developer’s contribution for traffic claming in Portsmouth Road, public Open Space and a contribution to the education budget.

    The application will now be forwarded to and considered by East Hampshire District Council planning officers and the EHDC Planning Committee.

    Article posted on: 11 July 2003

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