‘Extremely unsafe’ Ham & Blackbird plans rejected due to traffic concerns

Rushmoor Borough Council planning committee's decision to reject plans to build flats on the Ham & Blackbird pub site has been welcomed by its chairman.

A planning application to demolish the Ham & Blackbird pub and build flats on the site has been described as 'extremely unsafe' after it was rejected by Rushmoor Borough Council.

Inland Homes submitted proposals last June to redevelop the pub, which lies within the Farnborough Road/Union Street gyratory junction, and replace it with 62 flats along with a community/arts venue and parking for 69 cars - one space per flat plus five visitor spaces and two staff spaces.

The plans were later withdrawn and an amended application was put to the council in September, following responses from a public exhibition.

However the proposal was turned down by members of Rushmoor's development management committee on Wednesday (January 7) due to concerns over the impact of a predicted traffic increase on the safety of the local road network.

Councillor Clive Grattan, representing the Cherrywood ward, said the proposal was an over-development and he could not see how it would benefit the area.

Some councillors also branded the proposed community venue a 'joke'.

However, it was also questioned what would otherwise become of the vacant building and whether it would be brought back into use.

The situation was likened to that of the former Tumbledown Dick pub, in Farnborough Road, which was converted into a McDonald's and opened in October following a long campaign to preserve the historic building for community use.

Cllr Gareth Lyon, chairman of the committee, said: “My view, and the view of the committee, was that the proposals were extremely unsafe and raised some very real concerns for the traffic flow in the area.

"The committee could not support the application as it stood.”

Source: GetHampshire

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