Fordingbridge Town Council’s Objections

The main objections by FTC are outlined below. The full response to the local plan review can be found here.

Fordingbridge Town Council consider that draft Policy 5.28 for the allocation of the large scale development of the village of Alderholt is unsound due to its location and accessibility, unsustainable with regards to provision of services and inappropriate as it would completely change the character and nature of this rural community.

It is appreciated that Local Authorities are under great pressure from Central Government to meet the demand for new housing; however this should not be at the detriment of the existing residents, potential new residents or the local community or environment. It is suggested that while alternative urban areas have already been heavily developed, other options within the plan area should be considered further. Areas around Ferndown, West Moors and even Three Legged Cross should be considered as more suitable for large scale development given their proximity to transport networks, schools, employment, community & retail facilities and given their existing urban nature.

Character: The settlement maintains a village character, however the proposed development will double the population and built environment, potentially turning the village into a dormitory settlement in a similar fashion to that of neighbouring Verwood.

Transport & Accessibility: The location of Alderholt makes it inaccessible without travel through narrow country lanes (designed for horses and carts) and onward it will be necessary to pass through the already problematic town centre of Fordingbridge.

Facilities & Services: Local services are already inadequate and with the combined impact of the proposed new development in Fordingbridge (800 dwellings), services will not cope. In any case, being located in another county and healthcare area, it may be prohibitive to allow access for Alderholt residents resulting in reliance to travel further afield to larger urban areas for some services .

Employment: There is no specific proposal to provide new employment opportunities within Alderholt and any potential for provision has to be regarded as limited. Given the difficulties regarding public transport, the majority of working residents will rely on travelling to work by car which will only exacerbate the traffic problems. While opportunities for employment may be present in Fordingbridge, there are no plans to provide sufficient parking spaces within the town centre to cope with an increase in demand, particularly for long-stay spaces for either residents or workers.

Education: Burgate in Fordingbridge which takes pupils from outside of catchment may have to review this position to manage the increase in demand following the proposed new development in Fordingbridge.