PLANNERS at the South Downs National Park have turned down 24 new homes at a mansion near Winchester, because a legal agreement has not been signed.

The park’s planning committee backed their officers’ recommendation to reject the scheme for ten flats at Abbots Worthy House and two in its coach house.

The scheme also included the demolition of an existing semi-derelict wing, outbuildings and garage and erection of new wing comprising four flats, with 35 parking spaces, and the building of a Regency-style building for eight units of social housing with 12 parking spaces.

A similar scheme was approved in November 2011 but only on condition that the developer signed a legal section 106 agreement to guarantee social housing, a payment for public open space, the protection and future maintenance of a listed Georgian wall and a new crossing and cycling path.

A report to the planning committee meeting at Midhurst in Sussex last Thursday (AUG14) said: “The applicant’s mortgage provider was not willing to complete the S106 agreement and the applicant has now disposed of the land. As the S106 has not been completed the application remains undetermined. The new owner is unknown to the SDNPA.”

Abbots Worthy House is not listed as it was rebuilt after a major fire in the 1950s.

The 2011 application was controversial with objectors including Kings Worthy Parish Council, the Upper Itchen Valley Society and 43 other people.