Next stop Ropley? … ribbon development gone mad!

20 years ago Four Marks was a medium sized village straddling the A31 and centred on the old railway station, village shops and the Windmill Pub. Since then there has been large scale residential building concreting over what used to be open fields between the A31 and the railway line and to the south of the road. Development eastwards along the Shrave has now run up against protected woodland. The South Downs National Park is to the south and the developers are now focusing all their attention on the western side of the village.

There is now  a planning application to develop 136 houses in the field outlined in blue on the map. This is outside the settlement boundary and extends the ribbon development westwards along the A31 to the parish boundary and towards Ropley. The next expansion of the ribbon development would be down Soke Hill towards Ropley Soke.

The current  weak planning controls are allowing developers to propose bad development in the wrong place and threaten beautiful rural countryside. Settlement boundaries should be exactly that and development along the A31 merging one village into another should not be allowed.