Press Release: 21st December 2009
Whitehill Bordon ecotown needs to show the way in transport solutions
Volunteers from the Campaign to Protect Rural England's Planning & Rural Group have reviewed in detail the Whitehill Bordon Masterplan, for which the public consultation period ends on 24th December 2009.
In a detailed response, the countryside campaigners have expressed their concern that there have been, as yet, no clear proposals for dealing with transport issues, which they see as central to a workable Ecotown plan. Hampshire County Council has not yet publicly issued the results of its studies on transport and the projected impacts of traffic on the surrounding countryside.
In general, CPRE Hampshire were impressed with many aspects of the Masterplan such as limiting the development to a maximum of 4,000 dwellings, the plans for a new town centre based on existing listed military buildings, and for zero carbon housing. They also welcome the proposals for new job creation, and the amount of green infrastructure that will maximise wildlife corridors and safeguard the important nature conservation sites by encouraging recreation to be taken very locally. A woodland biomass CHP scheme for local heating is also supported.
The campaigners would like to see a larger amount of affordable housing than the 35% proposed, and consider it should be restricted to local people so that it will relieve pressure for the Council to proceed with large-scale commercial housing in the beautiful countryside of East Hampshire in order to meet local needs for affordable housing.
Christopher Napier of CPRE Hampshire said:
"On the whole the Masterplan looks good, and we support it as far as it goes. We have made the point strongly that any increase in new dwellings beyond 4,000 should not be at the expense of the surrounding countryside and nature conservation sites, but by replacing poor quality housing in the existing built up area. We have always said that Whitehill Bordon needs to be an exemplar in transport issues if its growth is not merely to increase car usage and the impact of the town on the surrounding rural roads and villages. This issue is not addressed in the Masterplan, and we await the result of studies being carried out by Hampshire County Council. We hope these will give strong support to early revival of the railway link to Bentley, which we consider to be an essential component of a proper transport scheme for the new town."
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Notes to editors
CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.
For all media enquiries, please contact:
Keren Burney, media & communications officer, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01730 894123 Mobile: 07876 780065
For information on CPRE, please contact:
Anthony McEwen, Director, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01962 779185 Mobile: 07717 296025