Residents pack into meeting to raise concerns

First published in News

HUNDREDS of residents packed into a public consultation meeting in Stockbridge Town Hall to raise their fears over the proposed development of 46 houses in Longstock.

Representatives from David Wilson Homes and GKA consultancy faced questions from some angry residents who aired numerous concerns with the plans.

Issues raised included the visual impact on the countryside, whether there is a need for affordable housing in the area and an enhanced risk of flooding to Stockbridge High Street.

Gerald Knight of GKA consultancy said: “We are still in the very early stages here. Your concerns will be investigated fully and robustly.

“There will be a thorough consultation and we will absorb everything we have taken account of here.

“We can amend the proposal and it can be altered accordingly, we are in no rush and everybody will have the opportunity to be involved.”

Stockbridge Parish Council chairman Sheriden Sleap and councillor Karin Taylor also addressed the meeting.

Cllr Taylor said: “This is not a foregone conclusion and not a shut case and I hope that assures people to some extent.”

Mr Sleap said: “The support for this proposal still remains to be seen and if there is any at all it has remained silent.”

The land proposed for development is currently owned by The Busk Trust set up by the father of local Test Valley Borough councillor Daniel Busk.

Residents flagged up their worries and accused Mr Busk of failing to declare his interest, but Cllr Busk has quashed these claims.

Mr Busk said: “The land in question is owned by a family trust and is clearly recorded in the register of members’ interests, I lodged a map with the council.

“I believe no application has yet been made and if one is; it will be determined under the Member/ Officer Code of Conduct.

“Because of the sensitivity of the matter, and my interest in it, I judged it inappropriate to attend the consultation meetings.”

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