An application has been submitted to turn a historic burial site in Yateley into a housing estate, causing public concern
Plans to turn an historic burial site into a housing estate have been met with public concern after draft proposals were published.
Developer Welbeck Strategic Land submitted a pre-planning application to Hart District Council to build 150 houses between Moulsham Lane and Chandlers Lane in Yateley.
A Bronze Age burial site was found during gravel workings in the fields in the 1920s with remains taken to Reading Museum and the site is now known as The Urnfield.
Neighbours and community groups including The Yateley Society lodged objections after the plans appeared on the council’s website, expressing concerns over the risk of flooding, over-development and the impact on traffic.
Barry Moody, chairman of the planning sub-committee at The Yateley Society, said: “The Urnfield, as we know it, has been a target of developers for many years.
“Following Hart’s new core strategy being found ‘unsound’ by the planning inspector it was just a matter of time before an application was made.
“The society has always been against this area being developed for many reasons, flood risk, archaeology, environment, access and traffic.
“Whichever way you look at it we think it inappropriate and unsustainable.”
Mr Moody said the biggest issue was that Hart’s lack of local plan for housing meant criteria for assessing applications would come from the national planning policy framework.
“With a shortfall of housing in Hart and a lack of five-year land supply it is going to be a tough fight,” he said. “I am afraid Hart planners have not done us any favours in the way they produced a core strategy that was bound to fail the examination process.”
The 25-acre agricultural site is inaccessible to the public and has recently been occupied with a number of temporary structures used for storage and equestrian activities.
The developers also want to create a recreation space, 230 spaces for cars, plus improvements to Moulsham Lane to allow safe pedestrian paths and improvements to the existing flood risk issues in that area.
The southern part of the site was previously identified within the council’s 2010 strategic housing land availability assessment with the potential to deliver around 200 homes.
A spokesman from Montague Evans, working on behalf of the developer, said: “The sensitivities of existing residential units on the boundary of the site have been acknowledged and the proposed residential development is to be located on the northern end of the site.
“This allows for the suitable alternative natural greenspace to be located on the southern portion of the site, thus reducing its impact upon existing residents.
“Although this is an outline permission, it is envisaged that the scheme could support 150 units with a mix favouring family sized accommodation.”
This pre-application request has been made to obtain a meeting with the council to discuss the detail of these proposals and get written feedback regarding the principle of development.
The consultation period will be held if a full planning application is submitted.