THREE new homes in a village near Alresford have been given the green light – despite a swathe of objections from local people.

The application to build on land between Conway and Millfield House in Alton Lane, Four Marks, was discussed for over an hour by the East Hampshire District Council planning committee. 

A total of 112 letters of objection were received, with 28 main issues ranging from the impact/harm to the countryside, to the lack of parking, to the congested roads, and the unaffordability of the homes.

The committee on May 8 questioned if the site was semi-rural or rural and if the development was urbanising the area. They also debated whether the three, four-bed homes were the right fit with concerns over the lack of solar panels and heat pumps.

Planning officers said that tilted balance applied to this application as East Hampshire District Council does not have enough building stock lined up for its community as set out by government policy. Only if ‘serious and demonstrable harm’ can be shown if the building goes ahead can a planning application be refused.

The approved development is for three, four-bedroom, two-storey homes with double integral garages, 11 car parking spaces and set within their own garden space.

READ MORE: Peter Symonds College: Neighbours oppose house plans on surplus land

Hampshire Chronicle: East Hampshire District Council planning committee

Each chalet-style bungalow has a first floor within the roof. They will use a palette of materials, from timber detailing, render, tile hanging on the dormer windows and facing brickwork. Red and brown roof tiles are proposed to add variety between the homes.

The bungalows will be set back at least 19 metres from the road behind trees and hedgerows already fronting the road. Three trees and hedgerows have been identified for removal so they can be accessed safely when entering and exiting the homes in Alton Lane which is rural in character. 

Cllr Angela Glass (Con, Bramshott and Liphook) said to mitigate the loss of the hedgerow, that hazel be specifically re-planted to allow hazel dormice to move around which will be added to the conditions to build. Further, enough vegetation be replanted to give and restore the buffer as it is now after development.

Natalie Fellows acting for developer Rob Symons of Falcon (Four Marks) Ltd said that this infill plot was a windfall site as housing needs were not being met.

There were also concerns over the lack of a footpath along the 1km stretch of Alton Lane up to Telegraph Lane. The planning office said it had a wide verge for walking on one side and was popular for walking.

Cllr Roger Mullenger (Lib Dem, Liss) said the 1km walk with UK wet winters and lack of footpath was not suitable for pushchairs and asked what the shortest route was to amenities.

Objector Steven Morrison, representing Fight for Four Marks, said he had lived on Alton Lane for 23 years. His objection was based on the inconsistent behaviour of the planners who, having just refused a housing application for 10 houses only 50 metres away from this site, were now allowing this scheme. They argued it was a rural location, inappropriate for a development and yet now allowing these three homes. He said the footpath along Alton Lane was unsafe.

Other discussions were around the size of the development. Cllr James Hogan (Green, Horndean Down) said two houses would be a better density. 

Another objector, Paul McAlister, said there was no need for four-bed houses in Four Marks.

After the debate, the plans were approved.