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Awbridge recreation ground saved from development
7:42am Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
A VILLAGE recreation ground must not become a new housing estate.
That’s the view of parish councillors at Ampfield.
Some residents in the parish had suggested that the village recreation ground should be swallowed up by housing instead of a site already earmarked by Perbury Group for 39 new homes on land by Hillier’s Nurseries at Morley’s Lane.
But at a special meeting of the parish authority, councillors unanimously voted to keep the present recreation ground next to the White Horse pub and support Perbury’s Morley’s Lane scheme.
Councillors say the proposal to build on the recreation ground “is neither feasible nor desirable” and should be rejected.
The council also agreed to stick to its existing policy which is to maximise and continue to develop the site for recreational use.
Parish councillor Martin Hatley, who is also Test Valley’s deputy leader, said building on the village recreation ground is a non-starter.
“Unlike the Morley’s Lane site, the recreation ground is wholly within the Ampfield Conservation Area. TVBC has already said developers are unlikely to get permission to build on the recreation ground because it’s against policy in the borough local plan,” said Mr Hatley.
Objectors against the Morley’s Lane development claimed that the recreation ground was a better site to build on and could accommodate around a dozen homes.
But Mr Hatley said the objectors’ alternative scheme would entail the importation of about 24,000 tons of recycled soil onto the recreation ground site to create a football pitch and the suggested housing would go on infilled land.
He also pointed out that there would be inadequate room for car parking on the site.
Mr Hatley said: “If you build on a recreation ground site you have to provide similar of better recreational facilities elsewhere.
"There is a real need for affordable housing in Ampfield and this was made clear when a survey was carried out. The parish council supports Perbury’s scheme.”