ALMOST 100 residents from the Charlton area have written letters of objection to a proposal to build up to 85 homes on their doorstep on land between Goch Way and Saxon Way.

Councillors sitting on Test Valley’s northern area planning committee have been recommended to back their planning officials in opposing the scheme when they meet at Beech Hurst on Thursday (21).

Charlton Parish Council, which has already considered the application, has drawn up a list of 10 reasons to object to the plans, headed by the fact that the land is outside the agreed settlement boundary and there is no overriding need for it to be located in the countryside.

Test Valley Borough Council has, so far, received 95 letters of objection to the application citing a very wide range of reasons why the application should be rejected.

One letter of support was received, which suggested the development will be of a very high standard and that it is realistic to view Charlton as a suburb of Andover.

One sweetener for the council would be that the applicant has agreed to pay a £357,701 contribution to the provision of cycle facilities between the town centre and Andover railway station on completion of the 50th dwelling.

Because Test Valley Borough Council failed to make a decision on the application within the strict time limit of eight weeks the applicants have already informed the secretary of state that they want this application to be heard at a planning appeal. The views of the planning authority will be put forward at the appeal, which will ultimately decide if the proposal should go ahead.

In his report Test Valley planning officer Jason Owen said: “The proposal, if permitted, would contribute towards the council’s housing land supply and provide benefits to economic, social and environmental improvements to the area.

“These factors would weigh in favour of the development.

“However, it is considered that these factors do not provide the necessary weight to justify the granting of planning permission for this development in the countryside, against Development Planning Policy in this instance.”