TENSIONS are rising after notice of a public consultation for the development of over 1,000 homes went out to residents last week.

Residents say discrepancies have been found in what was outlined in the Local Plan verse what is outlined in the Ashfield Partnerships Masterplan.

Concerns raised include the lack of a countryside park between Tadburn Road and Botley Road which had been agreed by Test Valley Borough Council in the Local Plan to add distance between the new and existing sites.

Another major concern is that the proposed site for a railway bridge is now not guaranteed. The masterplan states that the bridge is ‘not technically necessary’ and a ‘potential’ site has been located.

Speaking to Richard Buss, a member of the ROMSAVE group, formed by local residents in 2014 when the Whitenap site was first allocated, he said: “It’s been a thorn in our sides. We got together, came up with justifiable objections but unfortunately the council ran with it.

“This time, we’ve spotted the developers not really following Test Valleys Local Plan and we think what the developers are doing is worse. It’s a strange situation, we’re now defending the Local Plan.

“They (developers) are rather arrogant and have total disrespect for our elected councillors. We need to send a message to the developers, and they need to listen.”

Richard also said, during the consultation phases, workshops and several meetings had been held between developers and councillors to which it had been suggested the new school should be placed by Mountbatten School for convenience and to save the council money by allowing the use of shared facilities, but the school has been placed in the opposite end of the site. He said: “They asked councillors where the school should go. Not everybody is necessarily going to agree, but no one has said it should go in the far corner so how can the developer say they have acted on our thoughts? Tim Gray says they have listened to the community through various workshops, they may have communicated, but they don’t listen.”

A member of the public, as seen in a letter to the editor on page 10 of the Romsey Advertiser asks what is happening to the old brewery site in Romsey Town Centre. Why is it sat dormant and if this site was to progress, would this effect the need for Whitenap?

Romsey Rural division Cllr Nick King-Adams responded to say: “The development at Whitenap was included in the current Local Plan approved by TVBC in 2014, so it’s not linked to the delivery of more than 200 homes at the brewery Site which were originally given permission in 2006.

“The Brewery Site remains, for me, the most important issue facing the town. TVBC have been working assiduously towards a solution over the last three years. I’m afraid I can’t yet share detail of that plan, but we are determined to deliver housing on the brewery site to ensure we do not have to use even more greenfield sites to deliver housing in our future Local Plans.”

A spokesperson for the Ashfield Partnership did not wish to comment on the concerns raised until after the consultation period has ended and they have received all comments but he did say: " we are pleased to extend the consultation deadline by a further week to 11th December. This is primarily to assist the parish/Town councils whose Committee cycles fall outside the original window but the whole community will also benefit."

The public consultation will run until December 4 and can be viewed at www.ashfieldpartnership.com/ashfield-partnership/whitenap-consultation