Latest News, Political | Posted: Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 at 10:01 am | return to news

Action4Alderholt continues to fight development at the old Cross Farm

People in Alderholt are becoming concerned about the possible development of the 13 plus acre field at the old Cross Farm. This field is currently owned by a trust and they (not the previous or present occupants of the farm house) have currently offered it to the Highwood Group based in Romsey with a view to development.

Dangerous junction at Presseys Corner, B3078, towards Fordingbridge ©
Dangerous junction at Presseys Corner, B3078, towards Fordingbridge ©

The field has very limited access to Sandleheath Road but runs behind many of the bungalows on Station Road.

Action4Alderholt say they fear the developers might try to put an access road onto Station Road by purchasing an existing property for demolition.

A spokesman said, “This is yet another attempt to over develop our village and should be resisted by every possible means. We are all well aware of the lack of infrastructure in Alderholt from the quality of the roads, lack of local employment, overstretched schooling and medical services – the list goes on and on. All of this, in my opinion, makes such developments completely unsustainable.”

He said that both Dorset Council and the parish council have declared a climate emergency, which involves cutting carbon emissions from excessive car journeys as well as ensuring low carbon use in dwellings.

The spokesman added, “Action4Alderholt is represented on the committee writing a Neighbourhood Plan for Alderholt but that will take some time to formulate and meanwhile the latest news from the Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) is hardly reassuring. Proposals for the new Dorset Local Plan are due to be published in September. The already increasing traffic around Pressey’s Corner is causing problems and the ‘pinch points’ on Bowerwood Road (leading to our nearest town) seriously need attention. The trouble there is that the problem is in Hampshire – not Dorset, and Hampshire are already planning some 900 new homes in Fordingbridge adding even further to the problems of providing education, medical and general shopping services for our village.”

County Councillor David Tooke, who is on the Strategic Planning Forum for Dorset, said, “I have had discussions with the Cabinet Member For Planning, David Walsh, who said that he and the committee developing the new local plan did not agree with the old East Dorset assessment and did not feel that Alderholt was a good site for large housing development – infrastructure, roads, lack of employment, effects on climate change with necessary increased commuting were just a few of the reasons cited.”

Mr Tooke added that Cllr Walsh’s comment was not the same as saying Alderholt was safe from development and no decision had yet been made.

Helen Jackson transport policy manager said, “Based upon the fact that this parcel of land isn’t currently identified within the village envelope, this would suggest that it is in a less suitable location for creating suitable walking and cycling links connecting to the village when compared to sites within the identified village envelope.”

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