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Developers and locals clash over proposed Emsworth homes

More than 80 residents packed into the Public Service Plaza for the meeting

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 17th January 2018
Story by David George

 

FRUSTRATIONS have been aired by members of the public over a proposed development of 49 new homes.

Councillors, residents and planners from Hampshire Homes packed into Havant Borough Council’s Public Service Plaza for a development consultation forum, to discuss the potential development of homes in the land off of Westwood Close, Emsworth.

From left, Yvonne Copeland, Charles Ashe, Ray Cobbett, Brendan Gibb-Gray and Malinda Griffin

The proposed site for the homes, which was earmarked in the council’s draft local plan, contains a public footpath and sits next to the River Ems.

Between 30 and 40 per cent of these homes will also be affordable housing.

Havant Borough Council is required by the government to provide a total of 9,260 new homes by 2036. Resident fears lay with flood risk from the River Ems, as well as the future of the environment in the area.

Lee Wallace, director from Hampshire Homes

Charles Ashe from the Emsworth Residents Association is one of those who opposes the plans.

He said: ‘The main reason we are opposing this proposal is that the council’s local plan has more than enough sites to fulfil their housing obligations, so this isn’t needed.

‘There is also the green issue of the corridor between Emsworth and Westborne, because there won’t be any greenery left if this goes through.’

John Harvey, 76, lives in Westwood Close. He said: ‘My partner and I have lived here for 33 years.

‘We are against the application because we are concerned about the traffic that will be caused once people have moved in, as well as the traffic that will be coming in as the work is being done.

‘I can’t really comment on the flooding issue, so we have to assume that the proposed developers know what they are talking about.

‘The initial plan was going to be right next door to us but has now been moved, so that is an improvement at least.’

Director at Hampshire Homes Ian Wallace said: ‘We are here not only to show our plans but to listen to the residents – that is the key for us.

‘Because we’re a local housebuilder I think we understand the needs of the area very well.

‘Getting feedback from residents in an area is such an important part of the development process, so having meetings such as this mean an awful lot to us.

‘Following today we will be holding a public exhibition in February, with a formal application after that.

‘We are excited to see what the future of this project holds.’

An exact date for the exhibition has not yet been set.

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