Residents of Houghton are up in arms about housing plans they claim could spell “the death of the village”.

The Trustees of the Captain Busk Grandchildren Settlement have applied to put eight self-build dwellings on land to the west of Rose Cottage in the village. Over one in ten villagers have objected to the plans, in addition to the parish council and other bodies.

They have objected on a number of areas on the plans, including overdevelopment, the impact on the environment and the nature of the self-build plans.

The plans were submitted at the end of June, with the proposal that eight self-build plots are erected on land to the northern end of the village, adjacent to Houghton Lodge.

The developers allege that Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has not met its obligations to provide self-build housing in the borough based on FOI data they have obtained. They argue that this “justifies a departure from the local plan” on rural development, as the land is outside the settlement boundary of Houghton

However, the council rejects this, stating it has “clearly” met the required level of self-build properties.

The self-build nature of the scheme has been called into question by residents, with Holly Hutchinson saying: “The application is for 'self-build' houses but the proposals appear to be extremely detailed and so these houses would not really be self-build as that requires those building the houses to have significant input into the design and layout of their house.”

The developers argue that they were unable to submit an outline planning application, and so the plans contained in the full application are “illustrative examples”, with individual plots to be subject to separate planning applications by the new owners once sold.

These houses, if built, have also added to concerns that Houghton is becoming overdeveloped. Sharon and Wayne Day said: “This village does not need anymore houses/developments. The village has properties squeezed on every inch of the village. There are houses going up all over the village causing absolute chaos.”

They added: “These houses will overdevelop and over populate the village. Planning has to stop!”

The developers have said that their plans have been designed to have “an informed and respectful size, scale and density which responds positively to the village of Houghton,” something disputed by TVBC’s design officer.

The impact on the landscape has also been raised, with the site having been designated as a local green space in the Houghton Neighbourhood Plan, in which it is listed for its “beauty and tranquillity”.

However, the plan has yet to be adopted, and though the parish council argues “its content should be taken into account”, the developers argue the designation is “not appropriate” and the plan as a whole “holds limited weight at this stage.”

The plans are currently being considered by TVBC officers, and will be decided on in due course. If you would like to have your say, search TVBC’s planning portal with the reference 21/01960/FULLS