A CONTROVERSIAL housing development that would have seen 70 new homes built in a Basingstoke village has been turned down because of concerns about over-development.
If approved, the housing development would have seen the 70 homes, including 28 affordable properties, built on land at Worting Farm and a new access road constructed off Worting Road.
The site has been an area of contention between local residents and the developers since 2010, when the borough council rejected a planning application for permission to build 134 new homes because of concerns over the impact on the character of the Worting Conservation Area.
Councillors on the borough council’s development control committee have now rejected the latest application, voting unanimously to block the latest bid because of concerns about over-development in the village.
Councillor David Potter, Labour borough councillor for Popley East, moved a motion to reject the application at the meeting, saying: “As far as Worting village is concerned, I want to see it supported – I want to see it maintained. I think it (the application) is over-development, and it represents substantial harm to the conservation area.”
Fellow Labour Norden councillor George Hood added: “I think we need to protect this village and if we were to approve this tonight, we would not protect it.”
The meeting also heard from Gary Sumner, chairman of the Worting Area Residents’ Association, who urged councillors to reject the 70-homes bid.
He said: “There is also great concern in our village, in Newfound, Oakley and Overton that the unprecedented development of Worting Farm, and loss of green space will lead to future development in these villages also.
“We have great concern regarding the proposed application that 70 dwellings is extensive and inappropriate for our existing hamlet of 37 homes. If approved, this application will treble the size of Worting Village. We urge you to reject this application, and maintain the character of Worting by maintaining the buffer of open green space at Worting Farm.”
Jeremy Farrelly, from Genesis Town Planning Limited, who is the planning consultant for the developer, told the meeting that the development would suit everybody, saying: “It is a real mix of people living here in terms of families, elderly people and people who are starting out on the property ladder.”