PC Comment on MOS2 site to NFDC’s Local Plan Review
Milford-on- Sea Parish Council strongly opposes the release of Green Belt for the development of 110 homes on Strategic site 7. Building on the Green Belt should be considered only in exceptional circumstances and always in response to local need. NFDC planning officers are reported as stating that Green Belt development is inappropriate, Milford’s local need is not for more private sector homes but for family affordable accommodation which would likely form a small part of this proposed development if this land was removed from the Green Belt.
The Parish Council has grave concerns that should this land be released, developers would not comply with the stated requirements for affordable homes to be built. There is strong evidence to support this as recent press coverage on the release of Green Belt has highlighted. This is proved by Milford’s recent experience at the school lane site (MoS1), where a recent planning application took little or no regard for the conditions already set down by central government as well as the inspectorate and unbelievably was supported by NFDC Planning officers.
How can residents and the Parish Council have any faith in the new Local Plan bearing in mind these events?
The existing area is on a road leading to the school, which is walked by residents of all ages. The proposed development would therefore adversely impact on a great many residents and should not be removed from the current Green Belt village boundary.
The Local plan is not sound for the following reasons:
- The overall assessment of need is exaggerated. Two very different assessments have been presented by NFDC both contain conjecture as to demand.
- The assessment of need in Milford-on-Sea is also exaggerated. There is no economic or social housing need that must be accommodated by building on the Green Belt as there are significant vacant sites within the village envelope that stand ready for development. There is an additional Green Belt exception site in the existing Plan for 30 units of varying types which has not been developed.
- If these existing sites were developed the real need for affordable housing in the village would benefit local residents and not those migrating into the village who often seek to buy second homes, would be met.
- Other sources of additional housing include the steady intensification of land use within the village and the recent conversion of a holiday park to permanent accommodation.
Milford-on-Sea’s infrastructure is already under considerable strain, including:
- The Road System: this suffers from a T junction bottleneck leaving the village and added congestion at the school adjacent to the proposed site would render Manor Road, The Lymington Road and other surrounding roads crowded and dangerous at all times not just during school terms. The proposed development would also add additional pollution to the area where the Junior School is situated. Because the proposed site is some distance from the village centre this would add to the flow of traffic into an already busy the village centre with increasingly little parking available.
- Public services: the school is already over-subscribed and the medical services are also at full stretch serving a particularly high proportion of older residents.
- Effect on wildlife population: the proposed site hosts diverse and thriving wild life including Roaming Deer, Badgers, Foxes, Buzzards, Nesting Birds, Voles and Owls and thus the proposed development would have an extreme detrimental effect on the village’s wild life population.
- The sewage system: this frequently causes sewerage to flow into people’s homes; despite considerable expenditure by the water authorities the current system is not fit for purpose. Any addition to the current system would be short sighted and possibly dangerous to property and life.
The Consultation Process
NFDC have arranged two consultation processes – both include the holiday months of July and August. The suggested format for responses is, for the responders, in an unfriendly format that is cumbersome, repetitive and time-consuming.
This has inevitably has a chilling effect on the willingness and patience of responders.