David Lovegrove, ADD co-ordinator, presentation to Eastleigh Borough Council, 21 July 2016: I chair Stoke Residents’ Association in Bishopstoke and am co-ordinating a coalition of local organisations campaigning for ACTION AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT.
I have been an architect for 40 years specialising in the design of new housing and schools.
The paper prepared by your planning officer makes clear that the Council’s housing target cannot be met without one of two strategic developments, either B and C or D and E. We don’t disagree.
It then argues that B and C are the most likely be to deliverable. Why is this? We think mainly because your leadership believes that the proposed North Bishopstoke bypass will solve traffic congestion. This is a NONSENSE and we believe that proper transport studies will prove this.
There are other major flaws of B and C:
- Options B and C destroy the finest environmentally rich open countryside in the Borough.
- Your council’s own reports refer to significant negative impacts on the Itchen Valley.
- The highest area planning status, the South Downs National Park, would be detrimentally impacted.
- Huge traffic problems would be caused by the North Bishopstoke bypass for Twyford and links to the M3. It is extremely doubtful that Network Rail would sanction a new bypass of sufficient capacity under the Allbrook railway bridge, thereby threatening the plans.
The better option is the combination of Options D and E which, in the past, your planning officers recommended for the following reasons:
- Options D and E are related to existing urban areas, with good access to employment in Eastleigh and Southampton.
- They achieved approval from the major conservation groups. The Environment Agency approved the idea of a link road between Allington Lane and the Chickenhall Lane Link Road.
- Sufficient green buffer zones could be provided between settlements to maintain strong identities.
- A new railway station, and/or sustainable rapid transit facilities could serve the development.
- The potential of junction 6 of the M27 could be future proofed.
Your leadership is playing down the possibility of achieving the Chickenhall Lane Link Road and this is why Options D and E are being described as ‘doubtful’.
How defeatest is that?
This Link Road should be your council’s ABSOLUTE TOP PRIORITY. Everyone agrees that it would relieve traffic congestion and a bid is already in preparation for central government funding.
The total development value of housing in Options D and E plus an uplift for the commercial opportunities in Riverside would be in the order of £1.5 billion. This would dwarf the £120 million cost of the Chickenhall Lane Link Road.
Is your council really saying that it can’t find this funding, either from government, developers or other stakeholders, to pay for this crucially important road?
Essentially D and E provide the better strategic development option and there are LESS rather than MORE arguments against this choice as opposed to B and C.