Residents of village near Winchester warn developers over new homes plan

Andover Advertiser: Jo O'Connor with other residents of Itchen Abbas who are worried about the development. Jo O'Connor with other residents of Itchen Abbas who are worried about the development.

“YOU cannot walk all over us.”

That was the message to developers from residents in Itchen Abbas who fear a planning application for new homes is out of keeping with the historic surroundings, and are not affordable.

The development would see three houses built on Sunnybanks, on Main Road — one less than on the original application — with an access road.

But neighbours still fear their properties will be over-looked, and so far 50 objections have been submitted.

Mother-of-five Jo O’Connor, whose 300-year-old Georgian cottage backs onto the site, said people are concerned about the development ruining the setting of the Grade II-listed building.

“For us, the main thing is that we will have a road on three sides of our property,” she said.

“There is a Bronze Age burial mound in the field and although they are building around it, it would become part of someone’s back garden and people are worried that it would not be protected any more.

“The whole thing has caused a lot of upset for the last two years, and they are not even building houses that we particularly want in the village, none of it is affordable housing. It is all very expensive. A two-bedroom house is going to be about £500,000.

“They are not local and haven’t consulted people in the village, they are just typical developers.”

The application will be considered by Winchester City Council’s planning committee meeting on May 8, and Itchen Valley Cllr Kim Gottleib is giving residents his backing.

He said: “It is the stupidest application. It messes up the whole setting of the housing. If the planning committee says yes to this, then it is fair game for everywhere else.”

Mrs O’Connor said she feels apprehensive for the outcome.

“Hopefully, we can see what we can do as a group together and stop it from going ahead, or have something a bit more appropriate rather than this land grab.

“We will do what we can and send out the message to other developers that you cannot just walk all over us.”

Itchen Valley Homes Ltd were unavailable for comment.

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