FURTHER details have emerged of two planning applications now submitted to Waverley Borough Council for the redevelopment of Longdene House and the surrounding land near Sturt Farm in Haslemere.

One proposal is for up to 29 homes following demolition of two cottages, glasshouses and outbuildings on the site, while an alternative plan is for 13 homes in total. The scheme also proposes a change of use for Longdene House at the top of Hedgehog Lane, converting it from offices back into a single home with a detached garage.

It also involves the demolition of two existing cottages immediately north of Longdene House, removal of the car park, glasshouses and various outbuildings which currently serve the offices.

All will replaced by three new dwellings set within the existing area.

On the field between Hedgehog Lane and the Sturt Farm development, where separate planning permission was given for for 135 new homes in March 2015, two alternative schemes are proposed – for either 25 new homes or 10 larger houses.

Access will be from the existing driveway serving Longdene House, off Hedgehog Lane.

Ian Rhodes, of FFT Management property consultancy company, told The Herald there would be no vehicle access between the site and the Sturt Farm development, nor would there be significant changes to the Longdene House access or to Hedgehog Lane.

Mr Rhodes said: “The existing site has been in use as offices since the 1950s and contains extensive car parking for office users. All of this will go and under either proposal, the volume of traffic using the surrounding roads will in fact be reduced.

“Waverley has a pressing need for new homes and although for various reasons the numbers allocated to Haslemere in the emerging Local Plan are relatively low. It is challenging to meet even these numbers. Of other sites being considered to address the shortfall – such as West Street and Wey Hill car parks – all come with their own significant problems.

“Even those sites which can in theory be developed fall foul of the requirement of English Nature that all significant schemes within 5km of the Hindhead Common Special Protected Area must provide new public open space (known as SANG land) to ensure the impact of new residents on the this ecologically important area is minimised – something these other sites simply cannot currently provide.

“In looking at Longdene, we have been guided from the start by the need to respect the local environment.

“For this reason the proposed development is confined to areas which are either already developed, or are well-shielded in terms of landscape, while numbers have been limited to reduce rather than increase traffic.”

He said the remainder of the land would remain as open space and the consent on Sturt Farm meant an additional 8.75 acres of SANG would be added to the protected open land already surrounding the town.

“As at Sturt Farm, we are proposing to address the full spectrum of Waverley requirements in terms of contributions to the local infrastructure and to provide, either on site, or in association with Sturt Farm, affordable housing in excess of that which has been provided on other recently consented sites in the borough.”

The application includes an offer to include 10 ‘affordable’ homes comprising four one bed homes, four two bed homes and two three bed homes.

The planning applications to develop Longdene follow a scoping report to Waverley Borough Council last month when it was decided a separate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not needed. He said the sites belong to two separate companies, Monkhill and Marlin in which Mr Tony Lawson retains an interest, but they are not in his personal ownership.

Residents in Hedgehog Lane, Longdene Road and Midhurst Road were invited to a public exhibition on the plans at Haslewey Community Centre in April, along with WBC councillors.

Mr Rhodes claimed the feedback at the exhibition was generally positive.

The main concerns were about any redevelopment related to the loss of currently undeveloped land, traffic generation and visual impact.

• The plan can be seen online on the council website under WA/2016/1226.