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Much needed new homes were given planning permission in Hampshire despite vehement local opposition.

New Forest District Council’s Planning Committee approved a full application for the 20 properties on surplus land at Everton Nurseries in Christchurch Road, near Milford on Sea.

They gave consent for the demolition of existing buildings associated with the garden centre and the construction of 16 houses and four flats. The development will include 10 affordable homes, new public open space, a children’s play area, 48 parking space and landscaping.

Local opposition included claims about development on green belt land.

We were able to demonstrate that, although the site is located within the green belt, it is not open countryside and sits between existing residential areas and the main garden centre complex.

Planning policy allows redevelopment of previously developed land in the green belt for residential purposes provided there is no greater impact on the openness of the green belt.

As a garden centre is essentially a retail or mixed use site, we were able to successfully demonstrate that the site meets the definition of previously developed land and complies fully with green belt policy.

Planning policy also sets out a preference for previously developed land to be redeveloped in preference to undeveloped green field land.

Expert reports also demonstrated that the plans were fully compliant with highway requirements and meet council standards so that there will be no detrimental impact on highway safety or parking in surrounding roads.

The applicants went through a pre-application process with the council and held a consultation before amending their plans for consideration by the planning committee. Planning officers at the council recommended that the committee approve the plans.

Project partners included applicants EG Dunford Ltd along with Williams Lester Architects (WLA), Sturt & Company and Ecological Survey and Assessment (ECOSA).



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