Plan to build new homes in Whitchurch turned down again

Basingstoke Gazette: Cllr Keith Watts Cllr Keith Watts

PLANS to transform a former pub site in Whitchurch have been rejected for a fourth time.

Lochailort Investments Ltd applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to build 12 new homes at The Railway Inn, in Station Road, Whitchurch, in December 2012.

But the plans were passed to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, for a decision after Lochailort Investments Ltd appealed to the planning inspectorate in September 2013, saying the council had taken too long to decide on the application.

Mr Pickles’ decision follows a one-day inquiry heard by planning inspector Alan Wood on January 14.

In an 11-page report, Mr Wood cited the lack of amenity space for the development and the effect on neighbouring homes and highway safety as reasons for rejecting the homes proposal.

In his report, Mr Wood said: “I attach significant weight to the deficit in respect of amenity space and, in my judgement, the risk to the safety of highway users attracts considerable weight.”

The company has used the site as a temporary car park, but has submitted four separate planning applications since 2010.

In the latest application, the company planned to build two four-bedroom dwellings, three three-bedroom dwellings, six two-bedroom dwellings and a one-bedroom dwelling on the site.

Councillor Keith Watts, borough councillor for Whitchurch, told The Gazette: “I am in favour of planning for new homes, in the right places and in the right numbers.

“I look forward to seeing five small houses on the Railway site, but not a grotesque block of 11 flats.”

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