OBJECTORS to plans to build 25 new homes on the site of Haslemere Prep School, have launched a protest petition online.
The closure of the school after 60 years due to dwindling numbers, in July 2016, sent shock waves through the community.
Nearby Hambledon-based company Twist Heights acquired the 2.35-acre site for £3.6million in June 2017.
Director Guy La Costa is the father of an ex-pupil, who left the school 10 years ago.
The plans, which include four affordable homes, went on show during a pre-application consultation attended by more then 60 residents at Haslemere Museum, in August.
The deadline for responses to the application, which has triggered more than 60 objections, is today (Nov 30).
Keen to flag up the scale of the protest, neighbour Sheila Johnston has launched an online petition Save Our Hillsides at Change.org urging objectors to make their views known to Waverley Borough Council before the weekend.
She said: “We would like to point out the local residents are in favour of its redevelopment and recognise the need for new housing in the Haslemere area.
“However, the proposed plan has raised some real concerns both in the short-term construction phase and for the longer-term impact on the town.”
Key concerns are the plans are an “overdevelopment of a significant plot within the Haslemere Hillsides area” and likely to damage the backdrop to the town. The on-site parking provision is also inadequate, objectors say.
Haslemere Town Council also claimts it consitutes overdevelopment, and that the proposed buildings are out of character with the street scene.
The town council complained the proposal does not include enough affordable homes and that eight, rather than four, are required.
Neighbours have objected the development is ‘too dense’ and would “considerably worsen the road scene with a long established tall hedge and bank being replaced by five modern houses”.
Further obejctions are that the current building line has not been adhered to.
Urging the plan be approved, the applicant’s design and access statement states: “This application is a sensitive redevelopment of a previously developed site.”
The supporting document says it will provide ‘generous’ on-site parking to ‘minimise overspill’ onto neighbouring roads and ‘much needed smaller homes.’