DEVELOPERS have launched a new attempt to build "much-needed" homes beside a former Hampshire cinema.

Last year councillors went against the advice of planning officers and rejected a proposal to transform land between the Totton branch of Asda and the old Savoy picture palace in Junction Road.

The Savoy closed in 1961 and became a block of flats known as Savoy House before the name was changed to The Old Cinema.

However, a proposal by Roxan Homes to build a further four flats on a neighbouring site did not include extra parking provision - and actually involved the loss of four existing spaces.

The application was turned down by the district council last September - but Roxan has now lodged an appeal.

Outlining its reasons for refusing the scheme the authority said the loss of parking would encourage people to leave their vehicles in neighbouring streets.

It also cited the site's close proximity to Asda's delivery yard, saying the noise and disturbance would result in the occupants of the new homes experiencing "unacceptable" living conditions.

Speaking shortly after the original application was rejected Totton councillor David Harrison said he had opposed the scheme on three grounds.

"Firstly, not only was there no parking provision for the new homes but it actually took away four spaces in central Totton where there is no room to park, other than the restricted parking in Asda and other shoppers' car parks," said Cllr Harrison.

"Secondly, I didn’t think it was a good idea to build homes next to the delivery entrance to Asda.

"It’s pretty predictable that anybody living so close to these operations is going to suffer from noise disturbance."

Cllr Harrison said he also objected on environmental grounds.

Referring to a level crossing in Junction Road he said: "Traffic builds up both sides of the train gates, with engines running.

"We know there is a serious air quality issue at this location. I expressed amazement the environmental health officers made no mention of this when consulted."

A Roxan spokesman added: "We were naturally disappointed at the committee’s decision to refuse permission for these modest proposals to provide four much-needed dwellings in a highly sustainable location, close to the centre of Totton, on the grounds of lack of parking.

"We were somewhat surprised, given the committee’s approval of a scheme for eight flats with no parking at Salisbury Road at its meeting on August 8."


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