A DEVELOPER has applied to build 270 homes on the outskirts of Romsey, despite the land not being earmarked for housing in the local plan. 

Gladmans wants to develop the land in Halterworth Lane. 

The application includes the potential future expansion of Halterworth Primary School, public open space, structural planting and landscaping, sustainable drainage system and access points.

The land is not earmarked for development in the latest update to the draft local plan.

Cllr John Parker's borough council ward includes the site. He said: “Following the current local plan it is contrary to policy and as such would not be approved as development. It's outside the settlement boundary in land designated as countryside; situated in the designated local gap between Romsey and North Baddesley; and not allocated as a strategic development site. If permitted, it would risk the adjacent fields also being developed. 

“Given that the proposed site allocations for housing are open for consultation, it is premature and should wait until it is determined if this land will be allocated. All should wait until TVBC has allocated sites in the revision to the local plan.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Cllr John Parker

Romsey MP Caroline Nokes said: “This is yet another speculative application by Gladman, who have form for this all over the country. 

“TVBC works hard with residents through the planning process to protect local gaps between settlements and important open spaces. Gladman, as ever, is seeking to drive a coach and horses through that, and ignoring the views of residents and elected representatives.

“Of course, councillors will ultimately take the decision on whether this will be granted planning permission, but this is clearly a local gap and the application is in contravention of the local plan.  

“I trust the councillors to stick up for nearby residents, and very much hope this application will be rejected out of hand.”

By Wednesday, January 31, one public objection had been submitted. Simon Jones, of Halterworth Lane, said: “Romsey has seen so much development and expansion over the last 10-20 years with no real investment in the infrastructure. With the recent additions in Abbotswood, Ganger Farm, Oxlease Meadows as well as multiple other applications opposite Romsey Rapids, Hilliers Gardens and others. Romsey is at bursting point which I know the local MP and councillors agree with.

“Once again I feel that this application is completely inappropriate for this location and hope Test Valley will come to the correct decision and object as well.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Halterworth Lane masterplan

On the application's design and access statement, it said: “The site is located with good access to the town centre, existing community amenities and the local public transport network. Local amenities within walking distance of the site include multiple bus stops, shops, Post Office and various local schools.

“The scheme should be visually attractive, respecting the context, form and typology of existing built form and neighbouring local vernacular. Provide new housing, in a location with an extant need for new homes, increasing variety and choice; 40 per cent of the dwellings will be of an affordable tenure.

“The proposal currently includes two new vehicular access points from Halterworth Lane. Potential parking for the primary school will be provided at the entrances to the site along the primary street.

“The indicative layout creates a number of walking and cycling routes through a connected pattern of streets, footpaths and connections to existing network. This overall strategy will encourage the community to walk and cycle and will promote healthy active living.”

For more information about the plans, search 24/00174/OUTS on Test Valley Borough Council's online planning portal.