Update: Test Valley District Group

20th November 2019

News from the Test Valley

Water, or lack of it, is a perpetual issue in Test Valley and the continual increase in the planned housing development clearly puts an increased strain on our water resources and the amount of abstraction directly threatens the quality and quantity of water in The Test and its tributaries.

The controversial proposal by the US company Wheelabrator to build a massive incinerator between Barton Stacey and Longparish is now moving into a formal consultation stage and your district group committee will be attending the public exhibitions, quizzing the people manning the exhibitions and helping draft CPRE Hampshire’s written response. We are also endeavouring to collaborate with other organisations opposed to the proposal. The incinerator will use enough water to serve approximately 1100 households and will add to the area’s water problems. We are also currently researching the storage of toxic waste. The image shows the latest shape of the incinerator.

New housebuilding is being affected by the ban on development that would cause an increase in nitrate deposition into the environment (see article elsewhere in this newsletter) and in Test Valley no new permissions for housing development have been granted for several months. Larger developers are gradually coming up with imaginative schemes to offset the nitrates discharged from houses into the drainage system, but small developers with small land holdings have less scope to do so. At present it is unclear how this problem is going to be resolved, or what its effect on the delivery of TVBC’s housing targets will be.

The anticipated review of Test Valley’s Local Plan has been delayed yet again but TVBC has produced a draft planning statement about affordable housing to which we have responded by suggesting that small developments of less that 10 dwellings should not be exempt from having to contain an element of affordable housing. We have suggested that around 30% of dwellings in such developments should be affordable and that there should be no opt-out through agreeing to pay a contribution towards affordable housing elsewhere. We argue that the current policy has a detrimental effect on villages receiving small housing developments since affordable housing is required in the villages themselves and not in the nearest town.

Your committee has inspected recent housing development proposals at Picket Piece, Andover, Dunbridge and Grateley. We have objected to the proposal at Grateley, not because of the location which is on an abandoned business park near Grateley Station, but because of the lack of affordable housing in the scheme. The developer claims that providing affordable housing would make the development unviable. In our view, if it is financially unviable then this is because the developer is paying too much for the site.

We are pleased to say that Test Valley District group’s committee has now expanded to five members (Moya Grove of Chilbolton, Bob Wren of Romsey, Nick Walton of Totton, Robert Childs of Chute and John Moon of Abbotts Ann) plus Steve Lees, a planning consultant and adviser to the committee.  However, we are still keen to have more committee members so that we can expand the range of our activities.

Moya Grove

To get involved with the Test Valley District Group, please contact info@cprehampshire.org.uk

Test Valley Wheelabrator