Packed public meeting slams development plans in Alresford

Packed public meeting slams development plans in Alresford

Sun Lane, Alresford. Farmland now, housing estate 2020?

Packed public meeting slams development plans in Alresford

First published in News
Last updated
Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

HUNDREDS of people last night told civic chiefs to think again over plans for 300 new homes on the edge of a Hampshire market town.

The main hall at Perins School in Alresford was packed as around 500 people voiced near unanimous opposition to proposals to expand the town.

Alresford Town Council, which called the meeting, has expressed the view the town needs to grow to secure its long term future.

Town councillors were put on the spot by the audience and most agreed to reconsider their views.

Chairman Lisa Griffiths said: “Our job is to represent your views. So that is what we will do.”

Resident after resident slammed proposals to develop farmland off Sun Lane, with 320 homes, the relocation of industry from the town centre, a new gypsy and traveller site, with new access off the A31 bypass.

The Winchester Local Plan says that Alresford should have 500 new homes from 2011 to 2031. Jim King said: “With 500 houses we are jeopardising a key asset. A supermarket will soon follow.

“The high street will disappear. Businesses will struggle with the exception of expensive coffee shops and clothes shops.”

Colin Tester said the huge development would threaten the town’s tourist industry.

“What are tourists going to visit, building sites? There will be more cars, not tourists, and years of contractors’ traffic.”

The meeting heard it was important for an alternative plan to be developed.

Dr Martin Burton, of Itchen Stoke, a consultant for the World Bank, said: “Unless people stand up to be counted, the city council and planning inspectorate will roll over us. If we don’t mobilise this will go through.”

He added: “Alresford is a unique community. With the wrong type of new houses, for commuters from London, that mixed community will be lost. The real danger is that people leave Perins School and cannot afford to live in this community.”

Comments (4)

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9:57am Wed 28 May 14

Yves1977 says...

500 people, wow. Where were they all two-three years ago when the town council started this process??
500 people, wow. Where were they all two-three years ago when the town council started this process?? Yves1977
  • Score: -1

5:06pm Wed 28 May 14

homes4people says...

I attended the meeting and I was really concerned over the mandate of the assembled crowd. While the attendance of the meeting was excellent the main protagonists or people who opposed the development plans were far fewer in number and dominated proceedings. From the information given at the meeting I would be supporting the chosen development plan as it meets the identified needs of the town. I am looking at this from the point of view that I would like to stay in Alresford with my young family. I can see the thought process which ruled out the alternative sites which do not deliver as much for the town. If we turn down the development plan then we are sealing the fate of the town to decline and ruin. The city council would not be able to stop inappropriate development without a plan in the future.

The meeting go heard that people felt that garden grab development would not change the character of the town while the age old process of building on farmland would. I disagree completely the back garden developments of the town have changed the character of those areas while I feel that there would be no impact on the town or the communities which adjoin the large greenfield site off Sun Lane. I believe that actually that would just be continuing with the tradition of how the town has developed over the last 70years. The development plan would provide suitable housing close to the town which will provide double the amount of open space and other benefits for the community. We cannot wreck this plan as the alternative is far worst...
I attended the meeting and I was really concerned over the mandate of the assembled crowd. While the attendance of the meeting was excellent the main protagonists or people who opposed the development plans were far fewer in number and dominated proceedings. From the information given at the meeting I would be supporting the chosen development plan as it meets the identified needs of the town. I am looking at this from the point of view that I would like to stay in Alresford with my young family. I can see the thought process which ruled out the alternative sites which do not deliver as much for the town. If we turn down the development plan then we are sealing the fate of the town to decline and ruin. The city council would not be able to stop inappropriate development without a plan in the future. The meeting go heard that people felt that garden grab development would not change the character of the town while the age old process of building on farmland would. I disagree completely the back garden developments of the town have changed the character of those areas while I feel that there would be no impact on the town or the communities which adjoin the large greenfield site off Sun Lane. I believe that actually that would just be continuing with the tradition of how the town has developed over the last 70years. The development plan would provide suitable housing close to the town which will provide double the amount of open space and other benefits for the community. We cannot wreck this plan as the alternative is far worst... homes4people
  • Score: 3

7:53pm Wed 28 May 14

WinchesterLocal says...

I'm confused to read the above comment by an individual who says that they attended the meeting, yet says that "the main protagonists or people who opposed the development plans were far fewer in number and dominated proceedings".

A vote was taken, with a near-unanimous outcome against the proposed plans. Far from those who were opposed to the development plans being in the minority, only a handful of people present were actually in favour of the proposed development at Sun Lane.
I'm confused to read the above comment by an individual who says that they attended the meeting, yet says that "the main protagonists or people who opposed the development plans were far fewer in number and dominated proceedings". A vote was taken, with a near-unanimous outcome against the proposed plans. Far from those who were opposed to the development plans being in the minority, only a handful of people present were actually in favour of the proposed development at Sun Lane. WinchesterLocal
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Wed 28 May 14

WinchesterLocal says...

Yves1977 wrote:
500 people, wow. Where were they all two-three years ago when the town council started this process??
Do you mean when they were at a public meeting, rejecting the core elements of the plan that were proposed?
[quote][p][bold]Yves1977[/bold] wrote: 500 people, wow. Where were they all two-three years ago when the town council started this process??[/p][/quote]Do you mean when they were at a public meeting, rejecting the core elements of the plan that were proposed? WinchesterLocal
  • Score: 0

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