I was fortunate in meeting with my local Councillor recently (Valley Park ward, Test Valley Borough Council) and in the conversation we touched upon the thorny subject of housing development.
Apparently, there is a proposed new development up in front of the planning committee currently which effectively tacks on around 300 homes to the edge of the Knightwood Park development as it borders Castle Lane – the main connecting road to North Baddesley.
This is currently woodland and is used a lot by dog walkers and ramblers especially those walking from Knightwood through to North Baddesley.
Apparently we should all look out for a LibDem newsletter about to drop through our letterboxes very soon, which publishes the necessary email addresses for any or all of us who wish to voice dissent (or in fairness, assent) should we feel it helpful to do so.
Whilst I certainly don’t want to trigger a political discussion about this and I don’t personally like the idea of protesting for the sake of it, I do feel that to add this number of houses with an outlet that is proposed directly onto Castle Lane (which is already pretty busy) is not a good plan.
It seems that the existing infrastructure that exists in Knightwood (doctors, schools, shops etc) is thought by the developer to be sufficient to cope – I think that many of us will think otherwise.
So, if you feel that your comments will add weight, do look out for the newsletter and send off emails as requested.
The developer Taylor Wimpey outlined this proposed plan in its website:
Land off Castle Lane
“We have submitted plans to Test Valley Borough Council (Planning Reference P14/02620/OUTS) for the ancient woodland at Great Covert, including improved public access, which will be delivered alongside the provision of around 300 new homes, creating an opportunity for a sustainable extension to Chandler’s Ford.
The new homes will be built in the eastern section of the site. New public access will be provided into the woodland in the west, opening up the woods for the benefit of the local community.
The woodland will be available for public recreation, thereby reducing pressure on protected sites such as the New Forest, and the housebuilder is in discussions with Natural England to determine the best way to deliver these community benefits.
A public consultation was held in June 2014 at North Baddesley Sports Pavilion, giving local people the chance to help shape our proposed scheme by providing their feedback. You can view our exhibition boards by clicking here.”
From the website of Taylor Wimpey.
You can find out more details about the 14/02620/OUTS planning application here.
The proposal: outline application for up to 300 homes with vehicle accesses from Castle Lane, landscaping, public open space, visitor parking, a woodland restoration and management plan including non-vehicle public access to Great Covert woodland, and associated infrastructure.
The application was received on 04 Nov 2014. Address: Land West Of Valley Park, Castle Lane, North Baddesley.
Here is the illustrative masterplan (pdf 2.5MB).