PLANS to build 99 homes in Picket Twenty have been scaled back as part of a developer’s efforts to ‘proactively work with the council’.

Foreman Homes submitted an application to Test Valley Borough Council last November for the development which has now been tweaked to only have 78 homes.

Steve Carrington, planning director, said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to provide quality housing, and as we always strive to work proactively with the council’s officers, we have, in this instance, sought to reduce the number of homes being applied for, in the hope that this can aid in our getting onto site that much quicker, and we very much hope, therefore, that our positive efforts will be welcomed.”

The proposed site forms part of the Picket Twenty neighbourhood currently under construction, closer to the Andover Down area of the site, and includes 40 per cent affordable homes.

However not all residents are convinced by the change.

Jim Thompson, an Andover Down Resident’s Action Group member, said: “Having been totally ignored by the planning authority in our last effort to get the spirit of the Local Plan adhered to, we were disappointed to see a further 99 homes being proposed within the area stipulated in the Local Plan to be suitable for 300.

“Even with the reduction to 78 homes that makes 598 units to be built in this area, i.e. virtually double.

“We further understand there is a proposal for another 180 next to Harewood Caravan Site.

“Clearly the much vaunted Local Plan is just tissue paper as previously stated.

“Actually given the Local plan is to be ignored, one can see that this is now an infill site and difficult to contest. We’ve pointed out that the high density development in Picket Twenty needs to be aesthetically distinguished from the more upmarket homes in Andover Down, and it may well be that Foreman Homes have taken this on board and are proposing to build a lesser number of homes to blend in with the Andover Down properties.”

“The residents of Andover Down are keen to keep their village separate, so if someone is listening to our input for a change, that would be good.”

To view the revised planning application submitted by Foreman Homes, click here and search using the reference 17/02710/OUTN.