CONTROVERSIAL plans for three new homes on a suburban site in Winchester, with more than 80 objections, have been deferred from the next planning committee today.

Orchard Homes has applied for the properties, which will replace the current house, in Downside Road, Weeke. 

The scheme has received 84 objections and was due for a decision by Winchester City Council's planning committee on Wednesday, April 17.

However, a note on the meeting's update paper said: “Item 8 has been deferred from the agenda for Wednesday 17 April 2024. A revised committee date will be communicated in due course.”

No reason for the deferral has been given.

The proposal was initially for four homes, but the developer has reduced it to three.

Reasons for objections including fears of over-development and traffic issues.

A briefing note was uploaded by the applicant to the city council's online planning portal on Monday, April 15. 

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Hampshire Chronicle: Orchard Homes plans

It said: “Orchard Special Projects have worked closely with the case officer and consultees in evolving this project.

“Considerable care has been taken to ensure that our proposals help to enhance this area, while complying with the aims set out in the Winchester City Council Local Plan.

“The dwellings have been designed as family homes, informed by the local mix of building types and materials. The proposals will aim to reflect some of the more traditional dwellings in the area.

“Bio-diversity will be increased with the enhancement of existing areas through the introduction of indigenous planting.”

Objector Christine Ashford, of Downside Road, said: “The developer did not consult at any stage with residents on any roads which would be impacted.

“To say that there will only be one extra traffic movement created by these houses is a nonsense. The road is a busy cycle and walk way used at all times of the day. Traffic has already increased in the 32+ years that I have been here. A development of this kind would be to the detriment of this semi rural area, both to the people and wildlife that already live here.”

In the planning officers' report recommended it for permission. It said: “Amended plans were submitted to WCC for consideration on September 26 2023 reducing the number of proposed units from four down to three and reducing the overall height, but incorporating a slight enlargement in footprint. The changes also adjusted the layout in order to reduce impacts upon boundary trees.

“The proposed development would (in its amended form) reflect the scale and pattern of development on the area and would not give rise to adverse impacts upon local amenity, highway safety, ecology or trees and it is therefore recommended that planning permission should be granted.”

For more details about the planning application online, search 23/01562/FUL  on Winchester City Council's planning portal.