Dormouse could hold up Woodside housing plans

Nesting dormice could stand in the way of more housing at Woodside Avenue by holding up the planned relocation of the council waste tip to Chandlers Ford.

Chandler’s Ford Parish Council met last week to consider EBC plans to open a mega waste recycling centre at Stoneycroft Rise off  Chesnut Avenue – a move which will be necessary before housing can be built on the former Woodside allotments which are adjacent to the current tip.

Parish Councillors heard that dormice had been discovered on the Stoneycroft site and the tiny rodents will have to be moved before development can start as they are a protected species and a special licence is required to disturb them.

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pic by Björn Schulz

A dormouse is featured in Lewis Carols ‘Alice in Wonderland’ books and the creatures were a tasty snack in Roman times – deep fried, dipped in honey and rolled in poppy seeds!

The latest draft plans feature a new wide shared footpath and cycleway along Stoneycroft Rise on the approach to the ‘Freespace’ skateboard park – which has been added at the request of the Parish Council.

Councillors expressed their concern about the safety of the children visiting the popular skateboard park and requested additional lighting and signage be added to the plans to improve awareness of children in the area for all drivers in view of the increased traffic the recycling centre will generate

The maximum capacity of vehicles at the new recycling centre will be 198 per hour. Capacity at any one time will be 21 on site plus 25 queuing back to the gates – in comparison the busiest the old Woodside Avenue facility has been is 86 vehicles per hour.

A traffic impact assessment will also take account of the increased traffic from the proposed development at Stoneham Park.

Several members said the facility is a great improvement on the current tip at Woodside but the location is wrong, however council planning officers maintained that there is no alternative.

Once the application has been submitted to the County Council members of the public will be able to respond during a consultation period – Cllr Judith Grajewski asked if an exhibition at the Velmore Centre could be organised for members of the public and officers agreed that this would be arranged.

Earlier in the year members had heard how a failure to relocate the Waste Recycling Centre could result in reputational damage to the Borough Council.

Eastleigh News has also heard that former allotment holders have been upset at the length of time it has taken to begin work on the housing development at Woodside complaining that they could have been left on the allotments to raise and harvest another crop.

The application will be submitted by EBC to HCC next Monday 1 October with a decision due on 4 January 2013.

See also: Bats won’t stop flats

Hedge End Blogger: Grass Snakes, Hedge End habitat under threat

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