Digital map created to save Romsey's countryside from mass

Digital map created to save Romsey's countryside from mass development

The resource has been produced by Jennifer Adams and a small team from Romsey Future, in order to show areas such as local gaps and sites of importance for nature conservation (SINCs). 

Jennifer explained how the group had created the map and why she thought it was needed.

Speaking at the Romsey Forum on June 27, she said: “We want to look at the big picture to understand what the threats are to the wonderful countryside around us. We were worried about planning applications coming in and not treating the SINCs with the regard they should do. 

“So we got the information for all of the SINCs and all of the sites where people wanted to build so we could see what the bigger picture was and where we needed to concentrate our efforts to make sure that we didn’t ruin the countryside. 

“We want to make sure the different settlements have ways in which wildlife can co-exist and move around them. Through Romsey Future, we were talking to Test Valley Borough Council about the importance of green corridors.”

She added: “We have been at this for about eight years and we have made a lot of progress.

“We gathered all the information and gave it to a company which does biological surveys to put together a digital map for us.

“We then gave that information to the borough council in the hope they would do something with it, but unfortunately they decided to abandon that stream within Romsey Future. But we have carried on with it and learned how to use the software ourselves.

Digital map (Image: Contributed)

“We’ve got the local gaps, the SHELAA list (the developers’ wish list), the SINCs and more. We strongly feel that the answer to this is to have a strategic view of what the green infrastructure for Romsey should look like. We should protect the existing SINCs and areas of importance and make sure we identify the links to keep them connected to each other. If we do that the wildlife will be able to move around our settlements. 

“We want to work with the borough council.”

Test Valley borough councillor Mark Cooper said: “The government itself sets the housing targets. If we don’t provide the housing sites then planning will go rampant and we will lose control of the land we want to give up.”

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