Fears over spread of village development

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A LOCAL councillor is concerned at increasing development pressures being placed on Southbourne.

Southbourne Parish Councillor Philip MacDougall said this week that developers are queueing up to build in the area.

“At the moment,” he said, “Southbourne has a long queue of developers waiting to talk to the parish council about various plans they have for the parish. But it’s clear that the area can’t meet the demand. We haven’t the doctors, the roads and even the schools to meet this unprecedented demand.”

Philip blames a boom in demand for development on a newly issued interim planning document released by the district council that informs developers , says Philip, that providing the number of houses to be constructed does not exceed fifty, developers may actually build on land previously protected from development because of it being outside the existing settlement area.

“This is a very worrying move,” he said, which did not give adequate protection to Southbourne and other similar parishes.

He said: “According to the document these developments should not encourage car journeys to local facilities, not result in the loss of open space, should adjoin an already existing development and not lead to a resulting coalescence of an existing settlement area.”

He said that none of this made sense. “Given that the sites targeted are, by their very definition, open spaces on the fringe of existing developments and not near the centre of the any existing village facilities’ they can hardly meet the set criteria of discouraging use of cars, not taking away existing open space nor fail to threaten the coalesce of two previously existing settlements.

“So, in trying to slow the pace of development in Southbourne it is going to be difficult.

“Developers will simply ignore the small print that might be used against them, pointing to the sense of a document that says that Southbourne should have numerous clumps of houses built in batches of fifty – up to a possible maximum of 600!”