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Alresford councillor's concerns about Local Plan
AN Alresford town councillor has voiced concerns about how the authority is tackling the issue of housing development.
The town council is drawing up ideas for the Local Plan that is demanding 500 homes in Alresford by 2031.
An proposal last year by the town council, led by Cllr Roy Gentry, to transfer Perins School to land off Sun Lane, build 500 homes there and relocate the Dean industrial estate was widely criticised.
The council has since backtracked and set up a series of consultative groups, on employment, infrastructure, recreation and housing, to encourage alternative ideas.
Cllr Gentry said at a town council meetin: “I have serious concerns about where we are heading with the local plan. All I can see is this heading for disaster.
“I’m really concerned because Cllr Cattle, Powers and myself were criticised by other councillors for the way these matters were being handled. I don’t see them being handled any better now.
“The employment meeting was chaotic; it was postponed, the venue was changed and a lot of people did not know what was going on. The website has not been updated. I see no plans to improve that communication.”
A questionnaire is set to go out across the town soon to garner more opinions.
The sub-groups have to pull together their reports for a public meeting on April 25.
Speaking to the Chronicle recently, Cllr Gentry said: “We must make sure we plan for Pearson's Down (off Sun Lane). I don't feel strongly whether Perins moves there, or the number of houses, but what I do feel strongly about is that we do not see piecemeal development which we saw between the railway and Tichborne Down from the mid-1960s to mid-90s when homes were built with no open space, no recreation or community facilities. Sixty homes here, then 60 more, tumbling across Pearson’s Down; that is the worst case scenario. We all have a responsibility to ensure we plan for it whatever the plan may be.
“Maybe we should take all six concepts (outlined on the council website) and tear them all up.
“People have to remember the town council is local people. We are on a learning curve. Some people did something ill-advised but we are trying to work together."