The Orchard, Sandy Lane proposed development


This post  is an attempt to capture the sights and sounds of the Orchard and Gamblins field, Sandy Lane before it is destroyed by the housing development proposed by  Linden Homes in the coming year.

The orchard is categorised as a ‘Traditional orchard’ on the National Biodiversity Gateway the reason being for it being recorded is stated as :

Traditional orchards are a long-established and widely distributed habitat and make a significant contribution to biodiversity, landscape character and local distinctiveness across the UK.”

Gamblins field has for the last 25-30 years been laid to grass and grazed by horses.

TheOrchardandField

Gamblin’s field and the Orchard, Sandy Lane.

The Orchard is shown as the white area on the aerial image above, slightly offset from it’s actual position bounded by the gravel track.

The development will also be removing the Mount Pleasant farm, the last remaining working farm in the Waltham Chase village. This can be seen on the aerial view at the north of the orchard bounded by Curdridge Lane and Sandy Lane.

You can view the development proposal on the Linden Homes website.

This includes the plan of the development. There are also copies of the exhibition display boards , showing the scheme layout and design.

Their website also has more information about Linden Homes themselves.

Linden Homes have said that they will move the slow worms inhabiting the site to the newly made ‘orchard’ at the southern end of the Gamblin’s field.  Slow Worms were the only fauna that Linden Homes representatives mentioned at a meeting with the Shedfield Parish Council to inform the council of Linden’s proposals.

There are lots of other animals and insects that  are living in the orchard and the field and depend on it’s wild nature.

Here are a few photographs and videos that attempt to show what we will be missing when the development starts and to keep a record, for posterity, of the area before being developed so much that the village turns into an urban sprawl.

As mentioned above the field has been grazed by horses for may years and is also used by many different types of birds.

The field is also grazed by rabbits and used as a back porch by the foxes who live in the Orchard.

The field can get wet at times and this water does drain eastwards into the Clubhouse Lane properties.

Linden Homes have only mentioned slow worms so I  look forward to seeing the ecology report as we know of badgers, foxes, grass snakes, slow worms, many different types of beetle and many types of birds that inhabit the thick undergrowth and the remaining fruit trees in the neglected orchard. We regularly watch the bats over the orchard in the evenings and wonder do they live in the barns of the farm or the old fruit trees?

There is one tree with a tree Preservation Order (TPO) applied to it. The large oak that is outside of the orchard and is on the boundary with the Mount Pleasant farm. The TPO number is ‘1936T1’ and can be seen here on Panoramio.  If you look at the following photographs on this video you will see that there are many other substantial trees that should also be kept, including large hawthorns, oak, ash, young elm and others.

For anyone wanting to see the actual application documents  under 15/02765/FUL.

 

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3 Responses to The Orchard, Sandy Lane proposed development

  1. A. Platt says:

    I have lived in Waltham chase for 25 years and my two children have always lived here.
    They are unable to by a house in the village but now I am very pleased with the building of more affordable homes in the village.
    It’s a good location with good access to the road net work. I have never known this area to flood as it is situated on the top of a hill.
    The farm in sandy lane was surrounded by mostly fields 25 years ago but now is stuck in the middle residential area.
    I feel this development will just be infill and not harm the local area. We are surrounded by lovely countryside and the meon valley has lots of walks and open spaces.

  2. Gordon Larcombe says:

    Martin – Great material….sad news. What looks like another ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ moment for the village.

  3. karen anderson says:

    Thank you for the lovely photos and information. It is very sad to lose the farm within the Waltham Chase boundary. I so used to love to hear cattle and (on the other side of Clewers Hill) sheep. I know we all have to live somewhere. I can’t preach; we bought one of Linden’s homes in Clayhill Close in the 1980’s .. off plan not realising quite how closely packed the houses would be. A big problem has been lack of parking. Linden had cheekily met requirements by allocating some of our own gardens as ‘visitor parking’. In common with most builders they make their profit by squeezing the maximum number of unaffordable houses into the smallest inaccessible spaces.

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