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Up to 1,300 more houses set to come to Whitehill and Bordon

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Up to 1,300 more houses set to come to Whitehill and Bordon

Published at 6:00am 20th June 2020.

Up to 1,300 more homes are set to come to Whitehill & Bordon, as East Hampshire District Council has identified it for large scale development.

It is part of the council's Local Plan, and will contribute to around 4,350 homes overall as part of the town’s transformation.

The decision has been made following the Large Development Sites consultation held in 2019, which allowed the public to comment on the ten proposed sites.

But, leader of Whitehill Town Council Andy Tree told Eagle Radio he was "very disappointed" that the council did not give them a "heads-up" of their plans.

Councillor Tree said:

"I am very disappointed that East Hampshire District Council did not give the town council advance warning of their press release (i.e. a heads-up of their plans), when I understand that district ward councillors were updated last Tuesday and so that gave ample time to contact me or the town council offices.

"We were elected to stand up for local people and this is what we continue to do.

"The people of Whitehill & Bordon were promised a regenerated town with a new town centre, shops, cinema and facilities, and we need to see this delivered."

According to the district council, none of the other large development sites considered in the recent Local Plan consultation are "technically ready for allocation".

Therefore, instead of allocating another large development site in the district, the council intends to identify a ‘broad area of search’ along the A31 corridor, allowing them to make progress on the Local Plan.

As part of this, the council will be looking at seven sites proposed during the consultation.

The Local Plan is a document that sets out the priorities and policies for development in areas of the district outside the South Downs National Park, and is said to be a "vital tool in the council’s armoury against speculative development".

Councillor Angela Glass, portfolio holder for planning, said that to have a completed Local Plan, they need to have a "clear idea" of where future development will be:

"We have been able to do that in Whitehill & Bordon but there is still work to do to identify another site.

"We are confident that we will be able to allocate suitable land along the A31 in a future Local Plan and by committing to investigating this further we can get on with working on the rest of the plan.

"Delaying the Local Plan would risk opening our district up to speculative development.

"Taking this approach means we can move forwards with the plan without a risky delay."

Work must also be done to ensure the protection of habitats and species that are of international importance.

The council said it is possible to "avoid any significant adverse impacts" by providing new areas of natural greenspace and related initiatives.

Work is reportedly on-going between the council, Natural England and the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company to investigate this matter in detail.