New plans unveiled at Syngenta for 246 homes

DEVELOPERS hoping to build on the controversial former Syngenta site at Fernhurst have introduced a brand-new set of ‘improved’ plans.

A steady trickle of Fernhurst residents made their way to a public consultation put forward by Savills last week.

The redevelopment of the site, now known as Fernhurst park, has been a long-running issue with a succession of plans, including a hotel and residential care home, put forward in the past and amounting to nothing.

The latest plan put forward by Savills stands at 246 properties, which include 101 one-and-two-bedroom flats in a five-story building, with 78 underground parking spaces allotted for residents.

Fernhurst resident, Noel Tonkin, who attended the consultation, said: “It is better than any of the previous proposals and with a bit of modification it might almost work, although there are far too many residential units.

“I am glad to see all the H-blocks are to be demolished but I am under-whelmed by the apartment block, although the mix and separation of housing looks okay.

“I feel a few more commercial units could be included without detriment.”

The drawings also show plans for small terraced and semi-detached houses, which would be built around a central garden. All private and communal gardens on the site – including the edge of the 70-acre site – will be hedged to make sure the development keeps the rural feel of the surrounding area.

Representatives from Savills, including the architects and environmental group were on hand at the consultation to explain plans to residents.

However, it was emphasised the drawings on show were not the final draft, but there to be discussed.

The plans emphasise efforts to ensure the development is ‘green’ with off-road parking spaces, and some in garage blocks which would be separate to the houses.

Some Fernhurst villagers believe this set of plans is a ‘great improvement’ on the last produced for public consultation which were condemned by the community.

However, other comments showed people had concerns about the impact on the village school of greater numbers of children needing places. They were also concerned about the effect on the doctor’s surgery, parking at Haslemere Station, traffic on the A286, light pollution, sewage disposal and water supply.

While some residents accepted the site was in need of redevelopment, it was considered these plans were still ‘not quite right’.

The plans also include 24 affordable homes and homes for ‘key’ workers.

A spokesman for Savills said part of the site had been extended by 10,000sq metres to allow a crèche or restaurant.

The houses are planned in styles to match local building style and architects have said ‘care will be given’ to light pollution and screening – now provided by trees belonging to the Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Cowdray Estate.