BUILDING 1,200 homes on Chawton Park Farm will do “the most possible damage to existing residents”, according to a district councillor.
There was standing room only at Chawton Village Hall on Friday (October 4) night when representatives from Harrow Estates presented their plans.
The proposal is one of ten being considered in East Hampshire District Council’s large development sites consultation which ends on Tuesday (October 15).
Ward councillor Ingrid Thomas told the meeting she had resigned from the district council’s local plan working group following a complaint from Harrow about a perceived lack of impartiality.
Now off the group, she was free to share her “personal opinion”, describing the plan as “entirely ill-thought out” and likely to cause the “most” amount of harm to residents living nearby.
Stuart Choak, from Calibro Consultants, outlined the traffic measures and insisted they would be compliant with highways regulations. He said he would not advise his client to proceed if this was “an undeliverable project”.
Crucially, he explained they had no intention of altering the narrow railway bridge. Instead, routes off the A31 roundabout would be widened, traffic lights installed and a new road built off Northfield Lane.
For Chalk Dell Cottage residents this is particularly contentious as it would bring new traffic right behind their homes.
When asked why existing properties were not illustrated in his traffic-modelling video, Mr Choak said “the buildings, to be frank, are not important”.
However, he apologised for what some considered a poor choice of words as that was “not the point” he was trying to make.
Cllr Thomas echoed concerns with 2013 data used to forecast vehicle movements and said the road plan is “just plain not going to work”.
Question marks arose when Stuart Robertson said not every member of his family, which owns the site, supported the scheme. He claimed three of the four siblings in attendance objected.
But a Harrow spokesman told the Herald the land is “wholly within ownership of Ian Robertson” who has the “full support of his father”.
They were “pleased” to give residents the chance to voice their opinions.
“We knew feelings would run strong, as they do in every village across East Hampshire facing the possibility of new homes being allocated in their area,” the spokesman added.
Harrow maintain the project would be a positive addition to the district’s recognised housing needs.