A PLAN has been submitted to build eight affordable houses on land near a 19th-century pub in an Andover village. 

English Rural Housing Association (ERHA) is looking to build eight houses on a site next to The Oak in Stoke Road, Smannell.

The land is situated within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The site extends to just under 0.3ha and comprises of a flat paddock.

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The proposal is to build two one-bedroom, four two-bedroom and two three-bedroom houses.

There was one previous planning application made on the site by Wadworth & Co Ltd for the development of 12 affordable homes and associated parking. This application was withdrawn in May 2022.

Before making the new application, the applicant undertook a community consultation.

A total of 31 responses were received, in which residents raised concerns about additional traffic, loss of parking for the pub and additional car parking required from the dwellings.

Neighbours also objected to the loss of the hedgerow, the change in outlook of AONB, and overdevelopment of the small village.

Smannell Parish Council has also objected to the plans on the grounds of overdevelopment and the application not being in keeping with the parish and surroundings.

Members expressed concerns in respect that the planning application will increase village dwellings by 20 per cent.

The parish council said in its letter of objection: “This application will clearly impact the local area and erode what little green space remains, which is unacceptable.

“The current infrastructure is woefully inadequate to cope with the current traffic let alone the increase that will certainly result from this application if it were to be permitted. The proposed location is strategically poor as it is the worst possible position with congestion issues at school peak times and will only add to the current problems being experienced in the parish.

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“There is ample affordable housing continuing to be built in Saxon Fields just half a mile from Smannell and this provides evidence that there are other options very close to this site.”

However, the applicant said the design parameters were carefully considered to ensure a high-quality development that is sensitive to the surrounding locality.

ERHA is a non-profit organisation that have been providing affordable housing to rural communities in England since the early 1990s.