A couple from Medstead have gone public with their objection to the idea of Four Marks and Medstead absorbing major development to meet East Hampshire District Council’s Local Plan housing target.
The council must put 1,200 homes somewhere – but Alan and Margaret May, of Windsor Road, are adamant the two villages are not the place.
In a letter sent to the Herald as well as district councillors, planning officers and East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, they objected to four 600-house sites – land west of Lymington Bottom Road, land east of Lymington Bottom Road, Winchester Road and south Four Marks.
They added: “We object to the classification of Four Marks and south Medstead as a Tier 2 settlement.
“If we are classified as a Tier 2 settlement we should have 60 per cent of the infrastructure Alton has. The number of houses in south Medstead in 2011 was 851.
“By 2023 that figure had increased by almost 50 per cent, by 339 and 76 currently under construction. The approved Neighbourhood Plan for Four Marks and Medstead for 2016-28 included 175 properties in total, and 600 have so far been built. Sadly very little has improved regarding our infrastructure to cater for this massive influx of new residents.”
Alan and Margaret believe the single-lane Boyneswood Road and Lymington Bottom Road bridges over the Watercress Line would have to be made two-way, with these and other road improvements making building houses there “economically unviable”.
They feel more parking, schools, doctors and dentists would be needed, plus pubs, jobs and a supermarket. They fear flooding and believe the market cost of buying a house there would put ‘affordable’ housing beyond the reach of those who want it.
They said: “There is an absence of evidence provided by the multiple developers and owners for the various sites’ development, and as such they are not deliverable.”