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Residents told: "It's not a village, it's a rural service centre"
8:33am Friday 31st August 2012 in News
BURTON residents are aghast at suggestions their community could be labelled a “rural service centre” rather than a traditional village.
The proposal has been made by landowners Meyrick Estates, who say that because of the range of facilities Burton is too big to be classified as a village.
The notion, which is included in Meyrick’s response to Christchurch Borough Council ’s core strategy, has prompted outrage from residents, campaigning to retain their precious village environment from house building.
In the document, drafted by Jackson Planning, it says: “MEM (Meyrick Estate Management) believes it is wrong to class Burton as Village; it should be classified as rural service centre.
“The definition by function in the hierarchy suggests that villages are those that serve the home community only.
“Burton serves a wider rural hinterland in particular for the school/GP practice/churches and shop.”
The response also says that the re-classification would allow for more development, something which has caused controversy in the village.
Residents rallied earlier this year to oppose plans for 45 houses on land currently occupied by Burton Farm.
Now, Meyrick Estates is suggesting that between 90-150 houses could be built on the land, to make the most use of the site.
And in response to concerns about the suitability of the development land, Meyrick says it has moved the scheme to the “less visually sensitive” parts of the site.
Residents have set up a petition against the proposals for Burton, calling on the council to remove proposals for house building from the strategy as well as plans to re-locate the allotments to Burton as well.
Villager Alison Ramsey, who has helped to organise the petition, said: “I just think Meyrick have got a cheek.”
No one at Meyrick Estates was available for comment.
Contact Alison Ramsey for details about the petition on 07902 921940.