Despite our best efforts, the fantastic work done by Paul McAllister, chair of planning at the Parish Council, the support of SMASH, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and not least Four Marks residents who have lodged over 420 objections on each of the last three presentations of this development, the Gladman appeal to build 65 houses behind 46 Lymington Bottom, has been allowed by the Inspector. We have posted the full report below.


Have your say

visit the ehdc local plan public event at four marks village hall

19th February 2024 15:30 – 19:30

The Local Plan provides a vision for sustainable development and growth in East Hampshire. Through its policies it looks at housing targets, site allocations, business & infrastructure needs and the management of the environment and the climate emergency.  

Four sites have been identified in Four Marks and Medstead with over 200 houses  provisionally allocated. 


SMASH & F4FM recognise the importance of having a Local Plan in place to minimise speculative and unsustainable over-development. Local residents are best placed to give EHDC feedback on their site proposals, so please make sure your voice is heard. 


Please try to  attend the public event on Monday,  19th of  February at Four Marks Village Hall, Lymington Bottom, 15:30 – 19:30  to ask your questions. 


EHDC officers will be there to explain the plan and discuss any concerns you may have. 




We encourage you also to take part in the on-line consultation at:


Alternatively, submit your comments via email:


Or in writing to:


Planning Policy East Hampshire District Council

Penns Place



GU31 4EX


Note : The EHDC Draft Local Plan Consultation closes on the 4th of March! 


Your interest and support are greatly appreciated, and your comments really do make a difference – Thank you! 


we wish everyone a Happy New Year – we already have a very busy start to 2024!


There are several important key dates for commenting on current speculative applications and in addition, EHDC Planning Policy Committee (PPC) will be meeting on 10th January to approve the release of the draft Local Plan. We have provided a link below to the draft document which we encourage everyone to read.

Following the PPC meeting, there will be a series of public consultation events starting from 22 January for six weeks and one of these will be held here in Four Marks. We will keep people updated as we get more information, so keep an eye on the website and our Fight4FourMarks Facebook page.

Here is a list of the current applications that are of concern to us now: – 

5th JANUARY : last date for comments on planning application 52254 – 87 Lymington Bottom.

This application is for Outline planning permission with all matters reserved except for means of access for up to 95 dwellings to include the provision of vehicular access point, public open space, landscaping, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and up to 2,100 m2 of land in a flexible Class E(e) (Commercial, Business and Service) and Class F2(a) (Local Community) use. | Land North East of Belford House, Lymington Bottom, Four Marks, Alton (

10th JANUARY : EHDC Planning Policy Committee approve release of the draft Local Plan – the document being approved is now available to view so just tap on the link below – it is a hefty document, worth a good read but for ease, page 347 has the proposed site allocations.…/Public reports pack 10th-Jan-2024 18.00 Planning Policy Committee.pdf


F4FM will be giving its overview on the draft plan shortly.

10th JANUARY: is the closing date for comments on Application 25256/050, where developer is asking for 13 more houses on the site, versus the 45 he had got approval for in 2023. Please object to this one on grounds of extra traffic, even higher density housing our of character and more environmental impact.

25256/050 | 58 dwellings, associated landscaping and open space, with access from Holland Drive | Land to the rear of Brackenbury Gardens and, Boyneswood Close, Medstead, Alton (

22nd JANUARY onwards; Public Consultation on the draft Local Plan begins (6 weeks duration). We will advise of place to send your comments.

LATE JANUARY: Local Plan Public consultation session in Four Marks: Date, place TBA

6th FEBRUARY, 10:00 : Appeal on “Gladman” Application 56082/004, begins, lasts 3-5 days. Location TBA. F4FM intend to speak, as will local Councillors etc.

By 7th MARCH: Inspector decides on the “Gladman” appeal.

Those are the dates so far but lots more is going on and it is important to keep an eye on the following future developments : –

  1. We are awaiting a major application for 100+ houses on the field bordered by Barn Lane and Winchester Road
  2. An application on Crease-Smith land between Blackberry and Alton lanes.

These are in addition to the decisions we are awaiting on 95 dwellings at Longbourn Way, 35 on land adjacent to Bernard Avenue and 10 on the corner plot between Alton and Telegraph Lane.  In all, Four Marks and South Medstead have applications at various stages that amount to upwards of 500 dwellings and counting and it is this pressure on our village infrastructure that is causing so much concern. We really appreciate the support that is being shown by local people and it does make a difference to the way that our community needs are and will be considered in this important planning year.

Finally, please keep up to date by visiting our Fight4FourMarks Facebook page for all the latest news and comments. Thank You!





Four Marks and Medstead have long battled with several large housing developments being built on “green field” sites around the two villages. These sites have increased our housing by substantial numbers. See graph below (courtesy of our sister group in Medstead, SMASH).



Now however, this cycle is happening all over again. The reason behind most of these is that right now, East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) have a shortfall in its “5-year Land Supply” a key figure about housing sites being available for building, without which UK planning  law tips the balance in favour of so-called “speculative” Planning Applications where any developer/ landowner can take a punt with a Proposal and is more likely to get it through and allow them to build lots of houses, of the wrong type for our community, truth be told, and of course lots of profit for them. Hence, right now Four Marks and Medstead are facing the following “speculative” Planning Applications (either submitted and awaiting decision or about to be submitted):


Number of houses

Objections received


Mount Royal, 46 Lymington Bottom, Four Marks, Alton, GU34 5AH 60 431 Awaiting Decision at EHDC
Land between Conway

& Millfield, Alton

Lane, Four Marks,


3 (but clearly a “Trojan Horse” allowing access to all of the land between Blackberry and Alton Lanes). 118 Awaiting Decision at EHDC
Land to the west of,

Longbourn Way,

Medstead, Alton

95 (was 112) 168 Awaiting Decision at EHDC
Land east of Lanark

Cottage, Alton Lane,

Four Marks, Alton

10 ** At EHDC: Comments due by Oct 2nd 2023
Land at 87 Lymington


100? ** Owner/developer asking for public consultation, not formally submitted to EHDC yet
Barn Lane 120 ** Imminent application?




Most, if not all of these Applications are unwanted by residents, and with the support of Fight4FourMarks (F4FM) many residents submitted objections to EHDC based on the flaws in the sites in key “planning issues”, like sustainability, flooding, traffic, housing density/character etc. F4FM will continue to keep you informed on all of these sites on its website and Facebook pages. If you are minded to look and want to comment, we tell you how to find this information on EHDC and how to submit any comment that you might have. Please sign up to join us and be able to monitor anything new coming up.

Please note that these speculative Applications will run in parallel with the development by EHDC of its Local Plan. This is a sperate process that will also likely bring houses to our area over time. In order to inform residents of these issues, F4FM and SMASH are holding a meeting where you can come and listen to the sometimes complex situations and be better able to participate in having your say. Details below:-


Community Meeting, organised jointly by SMASH and Fight4FourMarks (F4FM).

There will be a Village Meeting to inform residents about Local Planning issues.

Sunday October 8th, Four Marks Village Hall, 5-6:30 pm

1) Intro to SMASH and F4FM

2) Information for residents on upcoming Local Plan Part2 Consultation

3) What is happening so far and Why

4) Potential Local Large sites for housing in the Local Plan

5) How can residents respond to EHDC Planners

6) Residents’ Q&A

This document was prepared by Fight4Four Marks and kindly edited by Simon Thomas.

Fight4FourMarks is a local group aiming to inform local residents on all matters on planning and development. WE ARE A GROUP OF RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT OVER-DEVELOPMENT IN FOUR MARKS. WE’VE NEVER BEEN ANTI-DEVELOPMENT, ONLY ANTI-INAPPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT



A formidable and predictable level of protest has again been registered with East Hants District Council planning when 431 Objections were received in response to a speculative, back-land development of 60 houses behind 46 Lymington Bottom, Four Marks.

This is the THIRD time Gladman Developments Ltd, (a division of Barratt Developments PLC) has submitted this proposal, largely unchanged, and EACH and EVERY time, the village has let its views be known with 430+ objections.


Four Marks and “South” Medstead have been inundated with housing developments, increasing from approx. 2073 to 2624 (26% increase) over 8 years up to 2021, without any significant improvement in infrastructure or facilities. The resulting increase in traffic has caused difficulties at the road junctions joining the A31 trunk road, dangerous levels of traffic outside the oversubscribed Primary schools and both doctor’s surgeries overstretched.

Over the last 6 months, two local resident’s groups have formed, first of all SMASH (South Medstead against Speculative Housing) and the Fight4FourMarks group reformed with new members .

Both groups are focussed on making sure that residents are fully informed about the speculative applications from voracious land developers who are targeting Four Marks and Medstead because they know only too well that EHDC have been caught on the hop without a current 5year land supply. EHDC are also in the middle of drawing up a new Local Plan, something both groups are working hard to keep abreast of and making detailed submissions to the consultation process.

On the recent Application from Gladman, Fight4FourMarks mobilised to get the word out to every household, over the early part of June 2023. Feedback from residents to EHDC highlighted the general concerns about the size and density of the proposed estate and the ability of our existing infrastructure to cope. There were serious concerns about the increase in traffic onto Lymington Bottom, so near the busy school where drop off and pick up times are already dangerously congested. This part of the road network also floods easily and the additional predictable run off from this estate on a steep slope worried many.

Dr Arthur Barlow, Chair of Fight4FourMarks said:

” The more than 430 comments received by EHDC represent a significant proportion of the local population. Residents are understandably concerned about the re-emergence of highly speculative and unplanned proposals and the impact on our already over inadequate local infrastructure. We have achieved our objective of making sure EHDC understand the depth of local feeling and the huge number of objections should give them cause for serious concern. Almost identical Gladman applications for developing this site have been refused for sound planning reasons twice before and nothing material has changed, so it should be dismissed for a third time”.


Other information

The opportunity for public comments closed on 28 June 2023 and a decision is expected to be made by the planning committee, date TBC.

The Planning Application can be viewed on line on EHDC planning system, under ref 56082/004.

| Outline planning application for demolition of 46 Lymington Bottom, Four Marks and the erection of up to 60 dwellings with vehicular access point, public open space, landscaping and sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). All matters reserved except for means of access.

| Mount Royal, 46 Lymington Bottom, Four Marks, Alton, GU34 5AH (

 YOUR COMMENTS must be submitted by 28 June 2023, SO please ACT NOW!!

East Hants District Council have just received an application for 60 NEW HOUSES IN A BACKLAND DEVELOPMENT in land behind 46 Lymington Bottom (near the school).

Sadly, due to East Hants no longer being able to demonstrate a 5 year land supply, Four Marks is again without protection from voracious developers intent upon putting in speculative applications in unsustainable locations. 


An application for 45 houses off Boyneswood Road has been recently approved and there is another imminent application for 120 houses to be built on land adjacent to Barn Lane. This Lymington bottom site will add another 60 houses to the village, creating a potential total of 225 in a very short space of time, putting pressure on local services, drainage and roads. In addition, 225 houses will mean that, in line with the LEA’s own calculations, provision will need to be found for at least another 75 children, and that is just infant and junior school school places!

Four Marks is still labouring under the inadequacy of its existing infrastructure due to the last round of major developments and is certainly not able to absorb even more, now unplanned development.

This latest application at Lymington Bottom is for 60 houses on a field that:
  • Rises steeply away from the road, which already floods in wet weather making pedestrian and cycle routes impassable outside the school. (see above image taken on 9 May 2023 after just a modest downpour!)
  • Is a development at urban density, out of keeping for this area of the village. If you want to know what urban density looks like in reality, here it is. Roads remain unadopted by the Local Authority because they are too narrow, emergency vehicles cannot get through the cars that will be parked up on the pavement on both sides of the road, as seen in this photograph taken recently in one of Four Marks new estates off Winchester Road. Building at urban density is appropriate in urban areas i.e. in the middle of towns and cities that have infrastructure that makes everyday life functional without a private transport  Four Marks is NOT that sort of place – we are spread out, infrastructure poor and no one can juggle work and school runs, leisure and family visits without a car. It is a rural existence and any new housing has to be in the right location and at an appropriate density.

  • The long distance away from jobs, shops and surgeries etc mean any new residents will, as we all know, use their cars to manage daily life.


Please go online, see what you think of this application and leave your comments. The planning authority need to hear our voices.




Land south of Winchester Road (adjoining no. 173), Four Marks Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 Regulation 6 – Request for Screening Opinion.

Locally known as the Barn Lane development, this initial request for a Screening Opinion is likely to soon be followed by a full planning application for 120 homes in the field running adjacent to Barn Lane. 

F4FM will be keeping abreast of this application because in our opinion, this is an environmentally sensitive site, being surrounded by undisturbed woodland, hedgerows and open farmland, and identified as containing protected species. There are also important vistas across the surrounding countryside, an area  that is important in the wider landscape. The sustainability of the site is a contentious issue, with access to local amenities and services being at a distance and gradient unreasonable for those without private transport.

The Barn Lane access onto the A31 is also an issue that will need careful consideration, bearing in mind the changes in traffic due to the impact of major local development that has taken place since the Highways comments of 2014.  Barn Lane itself is part of the wider footpath network and an important amenity for both local walkers and other byway users.

These are a few of the considerations that will need to be taken into account by planners when considering the suitability of this site for development. The opinions expressed by the applicants so far (see the link below) rely heavily on comments made by statutory consultees back in 2014. A lot of adjacent development has impacted the area surrounding the site in the intervening nine years and this requires careful re-assessment.


Planning Application 55358/001