RESIDENTS continued the fight to save land near Dummer today ahead of the council deciding on the amended application of a proposed ‘giant distribution site’ near junction 7 of the M3.

Newlands Developments submitted a revised planning application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for the new distribution hub on the land.

In October last year, members of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s development control committee refused Newlands’ previous application - understood to be earmarked for Amazon.

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The application includes smaller dimensions and a new occupier for the largest of the three warehouses proposed: supermarket chain Lidl.

The proposal is now 65 per cent smaller than the previous application - down from 271,000 square metres to 101,000 square metres. The height of the buildings has also been reduced between two and three metres across the site.

The plans would save the 67 oak trees and three beech trees in Oakdown Farm, which would have been removed if Amazon plans went ahead. The news came after a petition started by the Clean Air Green Environment (CAGE), which looked to save the oak trees from destruction, gained more than 100,000 signatures.

Today (May 13) councillors on the development control committee carried out a site visit and were greeted by protesters.

Christine Northam, a protester, said: “We are protesting because this is so bad on so many counts. The developers are telling us that they have improved the site and they have made it smaller.

“We examined their documents and visually this is going to impact even more on the landscape than the Amazon warehouse.”

She said it will look as if there is a “kilometre long building” on land that could be used to provide food and it “will generate more traffic” which will clog up the junction.

She added: “You can’t rebuild countryside once it is built it will be there forever and change the whole character of this village.”

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Jannette palmer has lived in Dummer since 1985 and raised her family in the village.

She added: “I am passionately interested in protecting the environment as we are in a crisis.

“I feel that this warehouse development is just so devastating because it's the perfect place for a wildlife corridor and it's right next to the only piece of ancient woodland we have left.”

The meeting to decide the fate of the land will be held on Wednesday (May 18).

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