A DEVELOPMENT with social housing described as like a ‘ghetto’ has been shot down by council planning chiefs, citing more than a dozen reasons for the refusal.

Foreman Homes had planned to build 91 homes in Picket Piece, on grazing land opposite Walworth Road, complete with a village green and a community orchard.

However, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has turned down the application for a range of reasons, including the quality of the development, parking and future provision.

In September Andover Town Council’s (ATC) planning committee objected to the application with one councillor saying the social housing layout was a ‘ghetto’ with a large cluster of the 26 homes being put together by the railway line.

At that meeting, Councillor Luigi Gregori added that the homes were deliberately designed to be cheap.

The TVBC document giving the reasons for refusal read: “The proposed development would not integrate, respect or complement the semi-rural character of the area, or improve the character, function and quality of the area.”

At September’s ATC meeting, councillors also raised questions over the sufficiency of a noise buffer between the railway line and the houses themselves.

Councillors also had concerns over parking allocation insufficiency with Cllr Barbara Long fearing this would force cars to park on the road, causing a highway issue.

On hearing plans were refused by the planning authority, the town council’s planning chair was happy with the outcome.

Although she said she had not seen the reasons for refusal, Cllr Long added: “I’m pleased that Test Valley Borough Council have listened to concerns and we hope if it comes back it’s a better proposal.

“In the end what we want is high-quality housing with the best infrastructure and best facilities which we can get.

“I’m pleased as it was badly designed.”

Another reason given by TVBC planning officers for the refusal was the internal layout of the site would not be ‘safe, attractive, functional or accessible for all users.’

Unsatisfactory parking provision was also noted as an issue along with an absence of adequate cycle storage with ‘insufficient justification for a reduction in cycle storage.’

TVBC officers added there was a lack of a legal agreement to secure highway infrastructure improvements and money contribution towards pedestrian improvements along Walworth Road.

The document adds this would have resulted in an ‘additional burden on the local highway and transport infrastructure serving the area’ while agreements were also not in placed for financial contributions to improving Picket Piece Village Hall and the expansion of East Anton primary school.

Other reasons included the proposed development deeming not to have supported the use of sustainable transport and officers believed unacceptable noise impacts from the nearby railway line and from Walworth Road would have adversely impacted future residents of the proposed development.