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Neighbourhoods divided over plans for 118 new homes on Southampton 'dead land'
12:08pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News
THEY are the multi-million-pound plans that could see grass verges and green spaces turn into scores of houses and flats.
Residents are being given the final say on moves to build 118 homes on four sites across Southampton.
The scheme, earmarked for land worth £3m in Coxford and Lordswood, has already split opinion in the two neighbourhoods.
Southampton City Council’s leader Richard Williams put forward the proposals and is set for a barrage of questions when he attends a public meeting this week.
A number of residents have already attacked the plan, with one branding the idea “stupid” amid concerns it could lead to more traffic and accidents.
Cllr Williams said the plans for the council-owned sites, which he described as “dead land”, were drawn up after he heard concerns from Lordswood residents about a lack of housing in the area.
He said: “When we were campaigning in Coxford ahead of the election last year a lot of people told us they had problems with housing, that their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, couldn’t afford to buy a house to stay within the community they had grown up in.”
In the plans, which were drawn up at no cost to the council by Barratt Develop-ments, 18 three or four-bedroom homes and 12 flats could be built on the verge near Sinclair Nursery and Primary School, while 18 houses and 24 flats could be constructed on verges further east along Lord’s Hill Way.
Up to 13 houses could be built at the rear entrance of Hollybrook cemetery in Lordswood Road and 33 flats on the turning circle outside the Rose Road Association centre.
Cllr Williams added: “This is us listening to the residents’ concerns. It’s not us forcing a development on the community.
“We have a shortage of houses in the city, but not much money to build homes – we have to think differently and do things differently.
“I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say.”
If residents react positively to the plans, the council will tender for formal planning applications to do the work.
If there is broad resistance to a development, Cllr Williams said the work will not go ahead.
The trees of Lord’s Wood itself will not be touched in any development work.
Reacting to the plans, Lordswood resident Allison McAlpine said: “There’s not enough space, whether the new buildings are houses or flats.
“These areas of land are just too narrow to build on, and they are also important green spaces in the area.
“It’s going to change the whole aspect of Lordswood and it’s going to cause a lot of traffic in the area. That is my main concern.
“It will cause accidents and I think the idea is stupid.”
Coxford councillor Don Thomas said: “This is precious green space which would bring Lordshill estate, which is already a desert of houses with no facilities, right into the heart of Lordswood. It is plain daft.”
Residents will have the final say on whether the plans get the green light, and they can voice their opinions at a meeting at the community centre in Sandpiper Road on Friday at 7.30pm.