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60 new homes could be approved despite fears
CONTROVERSIAL plans for 60 new homes look set for the nod – despite fears building work could result in “undignified” funeral services at a neighbouring cemetery.
Developers want to build the homes on greenfield land at Stoke Park Farm, Bishopstoke even though scores of residents have opposed the idea.
As previously reported, the 7.8 hectares of land – at a dairy farm – would be bulldozed to make way for up to 60 homes, new allotments and an extension to the village cemetery next door.
Planning experts have now recommended that the proposals should get the go ahead – even though more than 90 people who attended a public exhibition said building there was not appropriate.
Bishopstoke Parish Council has also objected to the scheme amid fears over drainage, excess traffic and the impact of educational and medical facilities in the area.
Both the council and the Stoke Residents Association have voiced fears that funerals could be disrupted during construction.
David Lovegrove, who launched the Don’t Choke Bishopstoke Campaign fighting against a number of proposals for the village, said: “It is a very private and tranquil and poignant area in the village and people are protesting against this development.
“Construction traffic could well impact on that tranquil funeral setting. If you have got two or three lorries carrying concrete rumbling past, it will clearly have an effect.”
But Mr Lovegrove said he was not hopeful that the decision would go his way when members of Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Local Area Committee meet to discuss the plan on Wednesday.
He said scores of campaigners would still attend the meeting tonight to make their voices heard.
“We cannot just let councillors put their hands up at these meetings and let them say ‘we have done our best’ without being embarrassed about letting a community down.”
It comes after nearly 100 people crammed into a planning meeting and jeered as plans were given the go ahead for 85 homes off Church Road in the village.
The latest meeting takes place tonight at 7pm in Stoke Park Junior School.
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