Southbourne housing plans spark fears over crossing

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A ‘garden-grabbing’ new development near a level crossing might cause a serious traffic hazard if plans are passed.

The proposals in Stein Road, Southbourne, include three, three-storey homes and a two-way driveway on land behind an existing house.

However the plans have been met with concern from neighbouring residents, who believe its position next to the level crossing is ‘inherently dangerous’.

“It’s going to cause people to take risks with their driving,” said Terry Cunningham, who lives on Stein Road.

“The public congestion here is constant at peak
 times and throughout the day. You can imagine the build-up of traffic.

“It is an accident waiting to happen.”

Mr Cunningham said schoolchildren tended to congregate around the area before and after school.

“It is a busy road,” he said.

“You get cyclists and kids, and the traffic for the industrial estate.”

One objector, Pippa Jacobs, said the police had been parked by the railway to catch people speeding.

“Pedestrians stand outside 61 Stein Road waiting to 
cross the railway gates,” 
she said.

“People will be constantly standing in front of this 
new access.”

Southbourne Parish Council has also objected to the proposals on the grounds the entrance to the site is too close to the crossing and would cause congestion.

Councillors have also spoken out against the plans for the houses and nine car parking spaces.

“The proposed development would be undesirable backland development and is considered unneighbourly and overbearing,” said Lawrence Tirebeck, clerk to the council.

“Three-storey houses would cause overlooking for adjacent properties in First Avenue.”

Mrs Jacobs said she was ‘surprised’ the house would be allowed to be altered in a style which is ‘out of character’ for this property.

Mr Cunningham said he was concerned about the number of cars which would be using the driveway,

“I imagine about six cars will be going in and out of the site every day. That’s not including the postman and friends and the builders.”

Paul Barker, a resident of First Avenue, said he bought his property 17 years ago because there were no houses overlooking his garden.