“Save Long Copse Lane” – Letter from a Reader

Should 260 homes be built on a greenfield site alongside a rural lane adjacent to Hollybank Woods and in close proximity to Southleigh Forest and the South Downs National Park?

Plans are to be put together to develop 260 homes in Long Copse Lane at the northern edge of Emsworth and on the border with Westbourne in West Sussex.

Land and Partners Limited presented their plan, initially at an exhibition in Emsworth and subsequently at a Development Consultation Forum on 17th April 2018 at the Havant Borough Council offices when Councillors and residents were given the opportunity to ask questions.  A further exhibition is planned on 23 May at Emsworth Community Centre from 5.30 – 8 pm at which Land and Partners will demonstrate how they propose to address residents’ concerns.

Among the reasons for objection cited are:

  • Development will significantly change the rural character of the area.
  • Traffic and Access are significant issues: there is no existing satisfactory means of vehicular access to serve the traffic generated by the development – potentially over 500 cars together with visitors’ and service vehicles.
  • Long Copse Lane is narrow and has no footpaths. The right-angled bend into Hollybank Lane lacks adequate visibility as well as being very narrow. The Local Plan states that Long Copse Lane, and possibly Hollybank Lane, will need to be widened. Any improvements to the right-angled bend will inevitably require third party land, destroy the rural character of the Long Copse Lane and result in the loss of a number of mature trees including ancient oaks and hedgerows.
  • In addition, the well-used Sussex Border Path emerges from Hollybank Woods, onto Hollybank Lane at this point before continuing along Long Copse Lane, resulting in inevitable danger to pedestrians, horse riders and road users.
  • Such a major development will significantly erode the gap between Emsworth and Westbourne, thereby undermining the distinctive characteristics of each of the communities.
  • Situated at the northern edge of Emsworth, this is a relatively isolated site.  Bus services in the area have recently been cut and the development will inevitably increase car travel.
  • Such a major development will undoubtedly cause harm to the setting of Hollybank House, a Grade II Listed Building, adjacent to the site.
  • Development has the potential to harm protected species – most notably Bechstein’s bats as well as badgers, dormice, nesting birds and reptiles.
    • The loss of mature trees will erode the character of nearby ancient woodland, formerly part of the Forest of Bere.
  • The site has known drainage capacity issues.

 

Residents have come together to form a group  – “Save Long Copse Lane”  –  to present a united response to the likely planning application.  If you would like further information please email: pgoodhew@yahoo.com