Pace of building new homes is hot topic

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

THE pace of building new homes in Overton was a hot topic of debate among Overton parish councillors.

Plans to build houses at Overton Hill and Two Gate Meadow are included in Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Local Plan, which indicates where housing should be built over 15 years, up until 2029.

But parish councillors agreed to ask the borough council for the houses to be built in phases.

Council chairman Tom Ridler said: “If they are going to build 120 houses, what do we want? We want to draw it out as long as possible so that the right people come into the village as something that can be absorbed, rather than whacking in a housing estate and putting in a lot of people who have nothing to do with Overton.”

But Cllr Brian Langer pointed out that building houses in phases could result in the areas becoming building sites for years.

Council clerk Laura Harley said: “Could we not put the affordable housing in Two Gate Meadow and build that slowly so it doesn’t affect as many people?”

But Cllr Paula Baker said: “If we want to provide ghettos for the future then that’s the way to do it.”

She added: “It’s in the developers’ interest that the sites are released as one site and then the developer is in control as to what rate to bring it forward and, as we have seen elsewhere, they will start and do what they can sell and then stop work and move somewhere else and wait for the market to pick up and come back.

“But it’s not in their interest not to have the land released until a later stage in the Local Plan, so they will resist the phasing argument.”

Councillors agreed to request for the housing to be phased.

Cllr Ridler said: “We want to drip-feed people into the village. We don’t want to form ghettos.”

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