PEOPLE in Hampshire have not welcomed the minerals and waste updated plan, which includes four new sites for the extraction of sand and gravel in the county, some of which have already been refused on appeal.

Local authorities are responsible for updating their minerals and waste plan according to the National Planning Policy Framework (2021) at least once every five years.

First adopted in 2013 in partnership with Portsmouth and Southampton city councils and the New Forest and South Downs National Park Authorities, the partial update has already undergone two rounds of public consultation where more than 3,330 people submitted their comments.

The plan includes updating the development management policies; as with the minerals policies, some waste policies have been amended, and others have remained the same.

READ MORE: Consultation launched on updated Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan

It also includes four sites across Hampshire for the extraction of sand and gravel; Hamble Airfield, Purple Haze, Ashley Manor and Midgham Farm.

During the second round of the public consultation, 25 objections were raised to the proposal to include Ashley Manor Farm. The concerns included traffic, air quality, dust, noise, light, health, flooding, and the impact on the green belt.

Ashley Manor Farm, in Lymington Road, New Milton, is a 26.6-hectare open agricultural land. Hampshire County Council (HCC) has proposed excavating 1.5 million cubic meters of sharp sand and gravel from the site starting in 2024.

At the cabinet meeting on Monday, July 8, Ms Perry objected to the decision and said that the site had been rejected twice on appeals in the past and that Barton Cliff, which is subject to coastal erosion, would be severely affected.

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Ms Perry said: “The site has been rejected twice in the past on appeal. The inspector considered each time that the open aspect was essential to the setting of New Milton.

“New Milton’s town crest comprises a sailing boat, the forest, deers and sheaves of corn, showing an appreciation of its setting. The sheaves of corn relate to agriculture, and Ashley Manor Farm comprises grade II agricultural land, the best and most versatile agricultural land. Surely, this is a consideration in these days when food security has become ever more important?

“The site is situated near the bottom of the High Street, and it will lead to a higher traffic concentration at a much-enlarged roundabout with lighting, losing the dark sky.

“It is also within a mile of Barton Cliff and is subject to coastal erosion. There is a very high water table. The attenuation ponds have already been enlarged on the draft plans. Drainage into small streams eventually feeds into step ponder Keyhaven, a nature reserve.”

Laura McCulloch, head of spatial planning at Hampshire County Council, said the sites, some of which were recently under planning application and refused, are still part of the allocation sites since alternative schemes can overcome many of the issues raised during the application and refusals.

Ms McCulloch said: “We have looked at the issues that have been arising through the applications and the reasons for refusal to understand if there are issues with the planning application or the scheme that has been put forward by the applicant.

“We believe that the allocations are still sound from a principal point of view, and many of the issues raised could be overcome by alternative schemes. So, those can be captured in the development considerations where appropriate.

“So if future applications come forward under the new plan, they need to be addressed by any planning application submitted.”

Cabinet members approved the partial updates that will be sent to the government Planning Inspectorate for scrutiny.

The Planning Inspectorate’s examination will include public hearings to discuss the issues raised through representations.