Parish response to the Draft Local Plan 2040


Valley Park Parish Council welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Test Valley Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan 2040.

Valley Park Parish Council were disappointed to learn that our democratically elected councillors had no input on the preferred sites for housing allocations, before they were presented by the officers. 


The preferred site of Velmore Farm for an allocation of 1,070 homes and 2.2 hectares for employment use, breaches a local gap. The land adjoins Valley Park. If this Draft Local Plan is adopted and this land developed, it would have a significant impact on Valley Park residents in a number of ways.

The proposed high number of houses,1,070, compounds all the negative impacts on the existing residents of Valley Park.                                                   

Historically, Test Valley Local Plan has dealt with government housing numbers in a similar way.  Allocating large scale development onto the two towns of Romsey and Andover, and the larger settlements. If placed near to a neighbouring borough boundary, minimising the negative aspects, as much as possible, on Test Valley. The strategy is to enlarge the urban areas

This has the following effects -  Urban areas are losing evermore open green space. The quality of life for residents in these areas is impacted in a disproportionate way. Villages are becoming less sustainable

There should be a positive allocation of housing land sites across all settlements, including those other than Tiers 1 & 2. The plan fails to do that. 

Instead, it hopes that parishes will draw up Neighbourhood Plans that include housing allocations, but this may just be wishful thinking. Some parishes have no intention of developing Neighbourhood Plans while others resist any housing development. 

The plan has no positive policies to maintain the viability of villages, nor to improve the viability of those struggling to maintain their schools, shops and public transport.

Valley Park over the last forty years has had almost 4,000 homes allocated to it for development. If this allocation were to be adopted at Velmore Farm that figure would rise to almost 5,000 homes.                                                        

Whereby, the Mid Test area around the market town of Stockbridge has received no allocation of homes at all. 


Local Gaps were the most supported policy by residents within the last Local Plan up to 2029. During the pandemic they were utilised by residents as safe areas to exercise and were really appreciated. It is difficult to see how any development at Velmore Farm does not compromise the role, character and integrity of this Local Gap, contrary to Test Valley Policy E3.        

The Valley Park Parish Council are concerned at the loss of open aspect, green space and the damage on the biodiversity and wildlife habitats, from such a large scale development.

The Valley Park Parish Council are more than disappointed that the Local Gap between Chilworth and Valley Park has been breached and that Velmore Farm is proposed to be allocated the bulk of Test Valley’s housing requirement in the South of the Borough, taking away a visible green lung for Valley Park residents. 


The impact of up to 2000 + vehicles onto Templars Way and local roads will have a significant detrimental impact, particularly at peak times.                     

The Valley Park Parish Council request that Traffic Impact Assessments are carried out on all local highways,  taking into account the extra vehicles.  These Traffic Impact Assessments would need to also take into account the additional traffic that will be generated from the 300 home development at Hoe lane in North Baddesley, currently under construction, and the future development of 1,100 homes at Whitenap, Romsey and include the existing impact from the development at Chestnut Avenue, Eastleigh.  

The impact upon Templars Way, Castle Lane, Knightwood Road, Baddesley Road, also Bournemouth Road and Chilworth Road needs to be fully assessed. 

We would also like to bring to the attention of the Borough Council and any future enquiry of this Draft Local Plan 2040 , that Templars Way and Castle Lane is a diversion route for traffic, should accidents happen on the M3 and the M27. These happen quite often. 


The Valley Park Parish Council are concerned of the increased pressure from up to 2000 more residents upon our local doctor and dentist services. The 3,700 families in Valley Park share doctor’s surgeries with North Baddesley and Chandlers Ford residents. 


Velmore Farm is located at a higher landscape location to Valley Park and the soil,like Valley Park, is of different clay-based textures. The surface water from this site already accumulates and flows down onto Templars Way, School Lane and Castle Lane, creating deep flooded areas across these highways. This has been accruing over 10 years, but has significantly increased from 2019 due to  weather conditions caused by climate change.  

The Borough and the County Council have, to date, not been able to address this situation.

The large scale development West of Knightwood Road needed a number of large balancing ponds, to alleviate the recognised risk of surface water flooding of homes East of Knightwood Road.  Equally, the sports pitches and play areas that were developed needed, at a later date, huge sums of money allocated for drainage works to prevent constant surface water flooding.


Electric Pylons go straight across the land at Velmore Farm. Government Ministers are recommending homes should NOT be built under, or close to Electric  Pylons. This Local Plan should be amended to state and make it clear that overhead electric cables should be located underground, on safety grounds, on any new housing developments. 


The Plan does not ensure that current Infrastructure problems are addressed, and that new issues are addressed ahead of any development taking place.


The Valley Park Parish Council request that full archaeology studies are carried out on all land at Velmore Farm.  A Roman Road runs over the farmland. The National Historic Society should be notified about the proposal to develop this land.

It must not be forgotten that an area, West of Knightwood Road,  a Roman settlement was concreted over and was only revealed when this development was almost completed.


How will this huge, proposed development at Velmore Farm assist the economic vitality of our towns in Test Valley? 

If development were to take place, it would be the closer businesses that the new residents use.  Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh would be the economic beneficiaries. 

Valley Park Parish Council therefore strongly opposes this draft Local Plan and seeks that amendments are made to take into account our comments. 


Valley Park Parish Council