Opposition to the proposed development of 46 homes west of Test Valley School hardened tonight. A town meeting heard that the land belongs to a trust set up by the father of Stockbridge’s representative for Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), Daniel Busk.
Daniel Busk’s exact legal relation to the land is unclear. It is held by the Busk Trust, but he has not declared any pecuniary interest in his statement to TVBC, and there was no evidence at the meeting that he stands to gain personally.
Nonetheless, it was confirmed by representatives from David Wilson Homes that a house on the proposed development has been reserved for Daniel Busk’s son.
On hearing this there were calls for Daniel Busk, who was not present, to resign. There was no other representative from TVBC present.
The meeting also heard from Stockbridge Parish Councillor, Karin Taylor. A town planner by training, who said the current settlement boundary for Stockbridge does not include this site. She called on residents to write in support of retaining this boundary whilst consultation on TVBC’s revised local plan is still open. (It closes April 26th)
But the revised local plan does include the site west of Test Valley School as suitable for development for up to 50 homes. And further more, projects they will be built in the next five years as part of its overall housing strategy.
All of which is to say an application could stand a real chance of success.
Other concerns included the effect the development would have on parking; the increased risk of flooding as a result of the development; the strain on local resources such as Stockbridge surgery; and the lack of activities for any young people who may live on the site.
Representatives of David Wilson Homes said fears that this was a ‘Trojan’ application leading to a larger development were inaccurate, in so far as they had no interest in any adjoining land.
They also said they were aware of parking concerns, and a contribution would be made towards infrastructure costs. There is even a possibility that could provide parking for traders to relieve pressure on high street parking.
They argued that the development would benefit Stockbridge; by creating a new bus drop off zone at Test Valley School; by generating more trade for local businesses; by creating employment during construction; by generating more council tax; and lastly, through the contribution from David Wilson Homes towards the community needs.
No formal planning application has been made.