A PICTURESQUE oasis between Andover and Charlton village is facing an uncertain future as a planning application for nine houses threatens to disrupt its pristine environment, sparking concern among neighbours.

The application submitted by Irongate Developments to the Test Valley Borough Council proposes demolition of stables and construction of nine new houses at Land Off Goch Way in Andover.

The plan has created concerns, especially for Edward Webb, 70, who has passionately owned and stewarded Charlie’s Lake near the proposed site for the past three decades.

Although the application primarily involves housing, Mr Webb says the plan has far-reaching implications for the local environment, particularly Charlie's Lake.

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“This is not just a body of water, but a haven for wildlife and an essential habitat for birds, newts and even bats,” said Mr Webb, who runs a fishing business from the lake and a café adjacent to it.

Mr Webb said he has invested years of effort and resources into the lake, nurturing a thriving community of native fish, with some carps worth up to £3,000.

He estimates the total value of the fish at a substantial £100,000.

However, he fears that all his fishes will be killed if the plan the build houses go ahead.

According to plans, one of the proposed houses is situated a mere 14 meters away from the lake, which will have potential environmental and ecological ramifications.

Mr Webb said the application does not appear to address critical issues such as freshwater management, sewage disposal, or soakaways, which could potentially result in pollution and the destruction of the delicate aquatic ecosystem.

“Concrete will kill fish,” he said. “Around 95 per cent of the boundary of the south side of the proposed site is with my property including the lake.

“They've porous pavers in their plans. But if someone gets a spillage, which is awful, it's all going to come down to my lake.

“Any my lake is a watercourse as the springs go down River Test when it is low. Whenever River Test dries up above me, I am the only person putting water into it. If I get pollution coming down, I'll lose all my fish and it will pollute the Test. What they're looking to do there will have major ecological impact.”

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Charlton parish council will discuss the plans in their meeting on Tuesday, October 16.

Test Valley ward councillor and Mayoress Linda Lashbrook refused to comment on the proposal as she is in the northern area planning committee.

Irongate Developments has been contacted for a comment.

To view the planning application, go to Test Valley Borough Council's planning portal and search with reference number 23/02463/FULLN.