HASLEMERE town councillors welcomed full plans for 132 new homes at Sturt Farm and also for 29 houses at Longdene House, following a presentation of both schemes at last week’s planning committee meeting.
Before explaining finalised details for the Sturt scheme and taking questions from councillors, planning consultant Ian Rhodes gave a presentation on the Longdene application, which is identical to proposals rejected by Waverley Borough Council in September 2016 and were allowed at appeal in the autumn.
The plan, which includes demolishing Longdene House, has been re-submitted on the grounds it is not a major development, following the inspector’s decision.
Waverley challenged the inspector’s decision under the Planning Act, because the borough objected to comments he included concerning its draft local plan.
Mr Rhodes told councillors the plan for 29 homes was being resubmitted in the hope it could be approved without waiting for the results of a legal challenge relating to the “wider issue” of Waverley’s draft local plan.
Mr Rhodes said: “We believe this scheme, which includes 10 affordable homes, will fulfil Waverley’s shortfall in housing provision.
“Even with the housing allocations in its local plan for Sturt Farm, West Street and Barons Hindhead, Waverley is looking to allocate housing on a couple of sites in Sturt Road. But the houses on those sites will be very prominent above a retaining wall.
“We might be able to give them to the community land trust. Ten years ago we offered key housing on this site. We have come full circle, particularly if the community land trust can now do something with it.”
Town councillor Jim Edwards said: “That was 10 years ago and now we are in a different position.”
Resident Christine Stacey raised a concern a badger sett would be disturbed by the removal of a hedge, but was assured the applicants were working with ecology consultants and were aware of their legal obligations.
Mr Rhodes said 53 of the 132 houses in the Sturt Farm application would be affordable and the scheme included a new playarea and a nine-acre public open space.
The finalised plan, submitted as a reserved matters application, follows planning consent granted last November to relocate the access road to share the existing entrance to the Sturt Farm buildings.
Outline consent for up to 135 houses in the area of outstanding natural beauty was granted in 2015.