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Outline planning permission for 280 new homes near Emsworth has been granted - even though the town was recently hit by severe flooding.
Last night (22nd November 2010) Havant Borough Council's Development Management Committee approved Linden Homes' outline application for 280 residential dwellings, doctors' surgery and pharmacy with associated highways improvements at Hampshire Farm in Emsworth.
Councillors voted 4 to 3 in favour of granting approval after an earlier motion to refuse the application failed. The council says:
"If the application had been refused the decision could have been appealed by the developer and the proposed reasons to refuse the application were not felt to be strong enough to stand up to scrutiny under a potentially expensive legal process."
Councillor Paul Buckley the committee chairman says:
"At the end of the meeting on Thursday there were a number of issues raised by residents and Local Councillors which required more consideration before a decision could be taken.
"At the resumption of the meeting further specialist advice was received to address these concerns and a strong enough case could not be made for refusal.
"As a committee we have to maintain a strategic view of the need to provide homes for families across the borough, including in Emsworth."
389 letters of objection were received from residents, many of these, mention flooding as a concern. These issues were raised in the Committee Report that Members considered which set out the applicant's proposals for a Sustainable Drainage Strategy for the site. Due to the importance of this site and the level of interest generated by the application the time allocated for public speaking was also extended at the Development Management Committee.
Planning permission will not be issued for another 28 days, as the Secretary of State now has the option of calling the decision in for review during this period. Prior to the council issuing the formal planning permission a section 106 legal agreement needs to be completed covering various requirements under the application.