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Major housing development plans submitted

Half of the 26-acre site in Hawley where the 126 residential homes could be built will be earmarked for open space

Hawley Park Farm, Hawley Rd, Blackwater.

Major plans to build 126 homes in Hawley have been submitted.

Property developer Lightwood Strategic is looking to develop Hawley Park Farm in Hawley Road to respond to an “identified housing need in Hart”.

Permission has been sought from Hart District Council, in the form of a screening proposal, to find out whether an environmental statement should be submitted with the application.

Daniel Weaver, director of planning consultants Pegasus, submitted the outline plans on behalf of the applicant.

Mr Weaver said: “The proposals respond to an identified housing need in Hart and represent a very small proportion of the overall level of housing need identified in the district.

“The proposed development, comprising of 100% residential development, is not in any way complex and will not generate any significant levels of pollution or nuisance which would be incompatible with the surrounding area.

“There have been no major developments within Blackwater and Hawley over the past five years.”

Among the plans, it is proposed that half of the 26-acre site would remain as open space in the form of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).

Vehicular access would come from Fernhill Lane.

The proposed development site, which is currently inaccessible to the public, comprises agricultural land bounded to the south by Fernhill Lane and to the north is a house and agricultural outbuildings associated with Hawley Park Farm.

To the west is an area of woodland and to the east is open agricultural land.

Mr Weaver said it is not classed as an "environmentally sensitive area".

He said given the location of the site and the "benign nature" of the development proposals, it was considered that while there will be some impact on the environment as a consequence of the development, this would not constitute "significant effects" upon the character of the area or the environment, as set out in central government guidance.

As a result of losing greenfield land to new homes, the developer would be required to provide financial contributions in the form of funding for transport and leisure in the community.

Adrian Collett, chairman of Blackwater and Hawley Town Council, said: “It is quite clear from the application that the [applicant] has done quite a lot of work into this and I think they are at a stage where they are thinking of pursuing it forward.

“I think the significant thing for us is that there will be contributions from this site development for highways and leisure.

“If this was to go ahead, good or bad, we need to make clear what highway improvements could be made.

“We need to do a bit of thinking.”

Hart intends to make a decision on the application by June 2.

The applicant would then look to submit a full outline planning application.

 

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