Could deer park derail housing plans?

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A NEW barrier to plans to build 1,200 homes at Chawton Park Farm has emerged this week - with campaigners and councillors calling for a medieval deer park west of Alton to be registered as an ’ancient monument’ as part of efforts to ward off the development.

In a column printed in full in this week’s Herald, the Say NO! to 1,200 Houses at Chawton Park Farm campaign group claims it has, with the support of a trio of Lib Dem councillors, found evidence of the ancient deer park in Chawton Park and surrounding woodlands.

And according to the county archeologist, the deer park is of "national importance".

It hasn’t, however, yet been scheduled as an ancient monument by Historic England.

But campaigners hope Alton Town Council - which has previously spoken out against the Chawton Park development - will now consider applying for ancient monument status, as "a listing would be a major constraint to building on Chawton Park Farm".

Alton town clerk Leah Coney said the deer park was discussed at the town council’s planning meeting this month, and added "we are still in conversation with Historic England about the merits of the site" as well as with neighbouring parishes.

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