CIVIC chiefs have been given more time to study a £1bn plan to redevelop a huge industrial site overlooking the entrance to



A consortium is seeking consent to build 1,500 homes and a raft of community facilities on land currently occupied by Fawley power station, which is due to be demolished to make way for the proposed development.

The 300-acre site includes land within the area governed by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

The district council and the NPA had been due to decide the application by January 15 but have now been granted a three-month delay by the applicant, Fawley Waterside Ltd.

The two authorities have been given until April 30 to give their verdict on the proposed development.

It comes after Hampshire County Council and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership LEP revealed that improvements costing £8m are due to be carried out to the A326 and B3053 in a bid to cushion the impact of the scheme, which is expected to generate a large amount of extra traffic.

As reported in yesterday's Daily Echo, eight junctions will be upgraded to help the two routes cope with increased vehicle volumes.

Much of the power station site will be used for housing but Fawley Waterside is also planning to provide a large amount of commercial and employment space, plus a school and a 2,100-space car park.

In a letter to the consortium, council planning officer Ian Rayner, says: "Negotiations on the application are still ongoing and there are still many issues to resolve.

"It is evident that we are not going to be able to resolve all of these issues by January 15. We would like to agree a new final determination date of April 30."

Meanwhile, more details have emerged of the proposed improvements to the A326 and B3053.

There are no plans to turn the A326 into a dual carriageway but the planned upgrade will include improvements to several roundabouts, with the approaches and exit lanes being widened in a bid to speed the flow of traffic.

Cllr Rob Humby is deputy leader of the county council and the authority's executive member for economy, transport and environment.

He said: "Transport modelling has shown that many of the junctions are near to - or at - capacity. Traffic growth, even without the Fawley Waterside development, will result in many being under more pressure in the future.

"The improvements will help to reduce congestion and delay to below current levels.

"A programme for the junction improvement works is being refined.

"They will be delivered in a phased approach to minimise impact on the public, with work expected to start in early summer 2020.”