Cupernham Lane, Romsey
Set in the market town of Romsey, Fishlake Meadows is a Site of Important Nature Conservation (SINC), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and one of the most important inland wetland areas in Hampshire.
Following the approved planning consent for a development of 64 three, four and five bedroom homes at Oxlease Farm, the land at Fishlake Meadows has been transferred to Test Valley Borough Council to manage as a nature reserve.
Stratland Estates worked closely with the Council and the local public during a long-spanning consultation period. Following significant public support, the scheme was approved in July 2014 by Test Valley Borough Council, enabling this previously non-accessible private land to be shared with the wider community.
A 25 year funding period by Stratland Estates will ensure a long lasting impact and legacy for the wider community, there are plans to develop an education programme, in partnership with specific interest groups and onsite volunteers, to encourage school groups to visit the site and learn more from knowledgeable staff. Educational access including interpretation boards, viewing points and dipping platforms could be created to encourage people to learn about the site and discussions are underway for video camera’s to be installed at the viewing platforms so that live wildlife footage can be streamed into local schools.
Stratland has also invested significant resource liaising with the prominent local conservation groups, including the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Romsey and District Society. Stratland has worked tirelessly to ensure a sensitive approach to dealing with the constraints of the site, both physical and environmental, and to minimize the effects of development so close to a SSSI and SINC. This work has been widely recognized by all organisations involved.
The Oxlease Farm development is testament to Test Valley Borough Council’s open-minded approach and acceptance of the public benefit of securing Fishlake Meadows versus the minimal impact of the development of 64 houses.
Construction is currently underway and is being headed by Bellway Homes.
As recognition for the above project Stratland Estates were 2015 finalists of the Planning Awards.