The Rowlands Castle Controversy

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The Rowlands Castle Controversy

Postby sheemee » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:29 am

Keydell Nurseries want to relocate their Garden Centre business from their present site at Horndean to a new site in Rowlands Castle.

The Strange family, who have bought the site and are now owners, have submitted plans but they got rejected by East Hampshire District Council’s planning committee in a knife-edge vote – despite being recommended for approval by the planning department.

So, they considerably altered the plans, taking in the reasons of the objections and submitted them at the beginning of June. Nothing more has been heard as yet.

The latest plans are on display in the Keydell’s Nurseries for all to see and the staff will even take the time to explain to customers the details of the plans.

The new scheme has in place an agreement by Hampshire County Council to give £160,000 for traffic-calming measures including creating a pavement on the narrow country lane.

Marge Harvey, councillor for Rowlands Castle, said she was concerned about extra traffic being generated as there are plans to build a 400-space car park right at the rear of the site.
Cllr Harvey said: ‘I don’t think its right that they can offer £160,000 to change a rural road into an urban road.

As it stands at present the road is very dark with no street lighting and is a rather dangerous stretch of road, running from the railway bridge, passed Prospect Lane junction and Whichers Gate houses on the left and on to the ‘Staunton Arms’ crossroads. This stretch can often have fast moving traffic on it.

A few years ago a survey was conducted asking local people if they wanted more street lighting but the majority said liked being in a dark area.

The issue has also been raised of light pollution being generated by the garden centre at night. This has been rigorously tackled in the new plans that are now under consideration.

My personal view is that now the Strange family are owners of the land they are not going to tie up their money in a piece of land they can’t use for the purpose they bought it for.

Eventually any more knock-backs from failed planning permission will exhaust the Strange family’s patience and they will then sell the land on to someone else.

In turn, the new owners will then submit their plans for what they want to build on this land and that might cause an even bigger objection, like an estate of box dwellings for instance.

The biggest outcome is the guarantee that this piece of land will not stay as it is for much longer, now that it has come onto the market and will be built on by someone, if not for Keydell’s then for something else.

Having seen the plans and been explained to my wife and I, we think that Keydell’s have done everything they can to tackle all the issues that have been raised through the project.

When it comes to traffic increasing you only have to look at Keydell’s existing site entrance to gauge what the increase will be like. Both roads are very similar. When you analyse it both sites are similar in lots of ways. The existing site does not have any issues with light pollution.

I would be very keen to hear the views of all concerned as it will shape the local community in the future!
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Re: The Rowlands Castle Controversy

Postby sheemee » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:30 pm

By Jeff Travis
Published on Sunday 30 December 2012 08:00

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a large garden centre on fields near a village will be decided at a public inquiry.

Agents for Keydell Nurseries have appealed to the government planning inspector after East Hampshire District Council turned down plans for a garden centre at Rowlands Castle.

The decision last September was the second time the council had refused the plan, which would involve the garden centre relocating from Havant Road, Horndean, to Mays Coppice Farm in Whichers Gate Road.

Councillors went against officers’ recommendations – and refused the plans on the grounds of it potentially ruining the unspoilt rural gateway to the village.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery had also outlined his concerns over traffic.

Marge Harvey, councillor for Rowlands Castle, has requested the inquiry takes place in the village.

People have between now and February 4 to make representations for the inquiry, which is likely to take place in the spring.

Cllr Harvey said: ‘Our argument is very strong.

‘One of our arguments is about the traffic along that road.

‘The strongest thing is the landscape officer from East Hampshire District Council agreed with us that the entrance to the village is rural.

‘To put something the size of this would spoil the rural entrance to the village.

‘East Hampshire District Council right through their planning has said they need to protect green fields.’

No-one from Keydell Nurseries was available for comment.

The Strange family has owned Keydell Nurseries for more than 100 years and has said the new garden centre would have minimal impact as there would be substantial screening by tree planting.

There are also plans for a 30mph speed limit to allay traffic concerns.

The site in Horndean is earmarked for housing.

Representations should be made by sending three copies to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/05 Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN, quoting APP/M1710/A/12/2187927/NWF.

Alternatively email

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