In the last three years the proposed Chawton Park Farm development has been the subject of two consultation periods (Reg 18 and Reg19) during which Chawton Parish Council and our parishioners have very clearly set out how the development is undeliverable, unsustainable, and entirely unsuitable for the proposed location. The conclusion of both consultations was that the site was rejected. Despite all the prior consultation and consideration, the Chawton Park Farm site is once again being pushed onto the people of Chawton (and the surrounding area) who have already made their opposition very clear.
The Chawton Park Farm site is perhaps the least sustainable EHDC could have chosen for a new ‘Garden Village’ as part of the local plan. The location is in a beautiful valley of productive farmland nestled between important ancient woodland and adjacent to a National Park. Access is already very poor via a single lane railway arch and the hazards and traffic of the narrow Chawton Park Road, soon to be exacerbated with the Ackender Hill development which is yet to be completed and filly occupied (Quite simply the road infrastructure is NOT and never will make this site deliverable).
The core of the site is 3.8km from Alton town centre, meaning primarily car-based journeys with little or no footpaths and cycleways (This is not a sustainable site). Additionally, the development would require a new primary school (as is planned) and probably a new secondary school to cope with demand. The western part of Alton, where the development is proposed, already has the most housing allocation of any area in East Hampshire outside Bordon.
If the development proceeds the impact on the local parishes and our parishioners will be very considerable. Parishioners, particularly the residents living adjacent to the development in Chawton and Alton, will face huge disruption during the many years of the construction phase and the prospect of being consumed into a 1,200-house development (The government is backtracking on its plans for mass housebuilding in the southeast, it would be prudent to wait for the outcome of this). The proposed development would see the destruction of historic farmland, an ancient Deer Park, and the loss of numerous protected species to just become a suburb of Alton covered with acres of housing. These changes will fundamentally alter the character of the parish and have a very detrimental impact on whole of the surrounding area not just the village.
Chawton Parish Council DO NOT accept this site can be delivered without irreparable damage to the countryside and surrounding area, monumental disruptions to the way of life during the very long build process and forever more once completed for the local Parishes of Chawton, Beech, Medstead, Four Marks, Farringdon and Alton Town itself… we are all wholly opposed to the proposed development at Chawton Park Farm and will be working together to object to it in the strongest of terms.
Jason Simper – Chairman
Chawton Parish Council