House builder wants to chop down 50 trees in controversial Medstead housing bid

By Daniel Gee   |   Head of Content   |
Sunday 3rd April 2022 4:00 pm
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The site in Watercress Way, Medstead, has been described as ‘only vestige of greenery left’ in the area
The site in Watercress Way, Medstead, has been described as ‘only vestige of greenery left’ in the area (William Lacey Group )

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A DEVELOPER is not giving up in its bid to chop down 50 trees to make way for four new homes in Watercress Way, Medstead – despite its proposal attracting almost 100 objections, and being in direct conflict with East Hampshire’s Local Plan.

The Woking-based housebuilder first submitted its plans in February 2021, proposing to build the homes on the western boundary of the recently- completed development of 80 homes north of the Watercress Line.

A decision would usually be expected within eight weeks – but this was not forthcoming, prompting hopes locally that the developer had dropped its plans.

Nearby residents were shocked therefore when out of the blue the developer this week issued a ‘Notice of application for Departure from Development Plan’.

This apparently seeks East Hampshire District Council’s permission to build the homes outside of the Medstead settlement boundary, as defined in the district’s Local Plan.

Neighbours to the development site, Mrs and Mrs Harrington, told the Herald the half-acre greenfield site is the “only vestige of greenery left between the concrete” of their own  11-home estate, and Bellway’s recently completed 80-home scheme in Holland Drive.

They added: “Given we are meant to be planting more trees, not felling them, this application should have been dismissed long ago but still William Lacey Group persist in finding every last avenue.”

People have until April 28 to comment on the William Lacey Group’s proposed development on land to the rear of 2-4 Willowfield. Have your say here.

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