Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the Inspector’s report on the Gosport Borough Local Plan which recommends that the Stokesmead site in Anglesey should be classified as open space.
The site is owned by Abbey Homes who Caroline met with at the end of last year, along with the Chief Executive of Gosport Borough Council and the Chair of Anglesey Conservation Group. Abbey Homes had identified Stokesmead as a site for a future housing development, however local residents were strongly opposed to the site being built on.
Now the Inspector responsible for reviewing the Gosport Borough Local Plan 2011-2029 has stated that the site should be classified as open space as a result of a number of reasons including a high risk of flooding. The Inspector has recommended that the site should instead be used as a children’s play area as proposed by Gosport Borough Council.
Commenting, Caroline said:
“I’m so pleased to hear that Stokesmead looks set to be protected from development; it is a very special piece of land which is extremely important to the local community. Given its location near the centre of Alverstoke village it is the perfect location for a play area to be enjoyed by local children and I hope that these plans are able to proceed.
Whilst this is just a recommendation from the Inspector, I hope that the developers see fit to comply with his advice.”
The Stokesmead site was bought by Abbey Homes from the National Children's Home in 1984 and since then a number of planning applications have been turned down.
In October 2014, a public meeting was held in St. Mary's Church in October attended by over 200 local residents. Last year, Caroline raised the site’s future in the House of Commons, when she asked for a debate on land-banking which prohibits the public use of sites such as Stokesmead.