Hart District Council rules environmental assessment unnecessary for 150 homes plans
Plans to build 150 homes on a former barracks near the M3 between Fleet and Farnborough have cleared a major hurdle.
Bellway Homes (Thames Valley) wants to build at Sun Park, formerly the Ministry of Defence-owned Guillemont Barracks, close to junction 4a of the motorway.
The developer asked for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening opinion from Hart District Council as any development of more than half a hectare, or that could have a significant environmental impact, may need an EIA.
Hart has ruled an EIA is not needed, paving the way for a planning application. Charter-ed surveyors Savills, acting for Bellway Homes, produced an EIA screening review stating the scheme will be predominantly family homes of two to two-and-a-half storeys, with a third floor in the roof. An apartment block will be four storeys tall, the maximum height for development.
There will be a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes, with 40% (60 homes) affordable housing.
The screening review states the site is in the settlement boundary and is previously developed land. It lies largely within Hart district, with the remainder in Rushmoor, and is near the Special Protection Area (SPA). Access is from the A327 Minley Road, near junction 4a but the developer is proposing to close the Minley Road access and create a new one off Sandy Lane.
Surveys have been carried to assess motorway traffic noise.
“The initial findings identify for the majority of the site, standard thermal double-glazing should be sufficient to achieve internal noise level criteria,” states the screening review. “A three-metre acoustic fence is likely along the south eastern boundary, along the frontage with Sandy Lane, to provide mitigation to the most affected dwellings nearest the motorway.”
The review states the site is close to the Rushmoor M3 designated air quality management area but there would not be any significant adverse impacts on the proposed homes.
Savills said an EIA is not required, a claim backed by The Environment Agency.
Natural England advised an EIA is not needed, although warned it was ‘concerned’ the proposed development could lead to a significant effect upon the nearby SPA and called for additional information and further clarification to be submitted with any application.
Dr Hannah Fluck, senior archaeologist with Hampshire County Council, said the application came to her attention as potentially of archaeological interest due to pottery production. She added although the issues would not trigger an EIA, given the scale of development she asked to be consulted on future planning applications. After taking the comments into account, Hart planning officers ruled an EIA was not needed. “It is considered the development, although in a ‘sensitive area’ would not be likely to have a significant effect on the environment by virtue of its nature, size or location,” they concluded.