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Southampton social housing plans rejected by council

Courtesy Sovereign

Campaigners are celebrating after proposals for a large housing scheme on former playing fields in Southampton were rejected.

Sovereign Network Group had planned to build 84 “much needed” affordable homes near the former St Mary’s Independent School in Midanbury Lane in the South Coast city.

Residents objected saying it would remove the last remaining “green oasis” in the area.

Councillors rejected the advice of planning officers and voted three-to-one against the plans.

Grant funding for the scheme had been secured from Homes England, allowing 100% affordable housing in the form of social rent and shared ownership properties.

Sovereign said its development would be a “balanced community of family homes” and would have included 22 three-bed houses and 24 two-bed apartments.

More than 180 objections were received over the loss of the open space, increased traffic, road layout, flooding problems and heightened demand on public services.

Planning case officer Rob Sims, who recommended approving the application, said the overall benefits outweighed the loss of the open space and change of use for the site.

Councillor Jaden Beaurain said: “As much as I appreciate and understand the positives of the development in terms of housing, I am really struggling to come up that on balance this would be a good thing.”

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