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Test Valley

Quiet River Test waits for Spring Quiet River Test waits for Spring

Spring / Summer 2018

Latest update from our district group in the Test Valley. This update was produced for our twice yearly newsletter, Hampshire Views. Please check the rest of the News section of the website for more recent updates.

Despite the policies in the adopted local plan, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) have recently granted permission for large housing developments at Picket Twenty east of Andover, and west of Cupernham Lane in Romsey However, one piece of good news relating to the bourgeoning sprawl of new estates north of Romsey is that the interesting wetland area of Fishlake Meadows, which we have expressed concern about in connection with all of the nearby housing development, has now been declared a nature reserve by TVBC and the 60ha will be managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Soon the public will be able to appreciate the rich diversity there.

TVBC is already consulting over initial ideas for the next local plan review and we met with the planners to discuss some of the options and issues One contentious issue is likely to be whether new housing development is concentrated around Andover and Romsey, or whether, as a new venture, some of it should be dispersed around the larger villages. Many villages are in need of some newer, and preferably younger, blood. Our view is that the villages should have a considerable say in what development comes their way.

There is definitely a shortage of affordable housing in Hampshire and CPRE TVDG would like to see an end to the process which allows developers to wriggle out of the stipulated proportion of affordable homes in a development by claiming that it would make it ‘unviable’. If it is unviable then it is because the developer is paying too much for the land.

There are currently two road issues in Test Valley; the Goodman appeal against HGV routing restrictions (mentioned in the last Hampshire Views) has an appeal hearing set for May. CPRE will be speaking in the interests of all the villages potentially affected by the increase in HGV traffic should the appeal be allowed. The second issue concerns the A36 between Salisbury and Southampton which several local authorities want significantly upgraded to cope with extra port traffic. A glossy brochure has been publlished to lobby government. This could have severe implications for the villages along the A36. We are in correspondence with HCC saying that the appropriate route to Southampton is via the M4 and A34, not the A36.

Finally, we note a worrying trend in applications for large bio-digester plants on the edge of the district. While in favour of farm-sized units, we will object to ones requiring the transportation of especially-grown crops for considerable distances through country roads.

John Moon, Acting Chairman, Test Valley District Group – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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