Flavia Estates, which has been campaigning to build homes in Blackwater since 2005, has received another refusal from councillors
A developer who has campaigned for years to build family homes on an ‘eyesore’ site in Blackwater has been refused planning permission.
Flavia Estates Ltd has wanted to build 14 houses on land on the east side of Hawley Road since 2005. Its latest planning application has now been rejected by Rushmoor Borough Council.
The developer wanted to replace commercial buildings which would be demolished, with seven two-bedroom, five three-bedroom and two four-bedroom houses.
However, a lack of open space within the plans, unsatisfactory access and parking arrangements, and an insufficient safe pedestrian route were some of the grounds on which the proposal was thrown out.
David Stevens, planning officer at Rushmoor, worked as the case officer for the application and he recommended that Rushmoor’s development control committee refuse the scheme.
His report stated: “The proposals do not make provision for any open space, as required by Local Plan Policy H3, to soften the impact of the proposed residential development on the adjoining countryside.
“It is considered that the hard transition would have an adverse impact on the visual character and appearance of the area.
“Accordingly, it is not considered that the proposed development would integrate effectively into its surroundings, be in the interests of the proper planning of the area and, as such, would detract from the character and appearance of the area. It is considered that the proposals are unacceptable in visual terms.”
The proposed site comprises Surrey Surfacing Co Ltd, a commercial storage yard and a portion of the neighbouring D&D Plant Hire site, also used for storage purposes and which incorporates an earth bund.
Despite lengthy discussions during a period of almost 10 years, the applicant was not able to secure agreement from the owners to the inclusion of the entire D&D Plant Hire site that would bring forward the entire site.
Supporters of the scheme said the development would ‘tidy up’ the area, which had been an ‘eyesore’ for many years and generate much-needed housing.
However, residents in Bayford Close, Claydon Gardens, Ashbury Drive and Hillside Cottages wrote to the council, objecting to the plans because they felt there was inadequate parking provision. They also described the proposal as ‘over development’ and were worried about the potential loss of privacy and additional traffic through the village.
One objector wrote: “Although aware that a development was in the pipeline, we were surprised to see so many homes on such a small plot. This is going to impact greatly on neighbouring properties, with issues such as noise pollution.
“We are concerned that the parking will be inadequate as even with two-bed homes, there may be more than one car, hence overflow parking onto the slip road. This is a dangerous pull-out point.”
The rejected application followed an outline application in December 2005 to build 13 homes on the same site but that, too, was rejected on similar grounds.
Gregory Gray Associates, working on behalf of the developer, said in the application that the updated proposal would, ‘help supply a mix of much-needed housing well situated in respect of local services, helping to maintain a high-quality built environment through good design that matches the character of the area and meeting the community’s needs.’
However, Rushmoor council’s development control committee decided to reject the scheme.