ADD OPEN LETTER TO BISHOPSTOKE, FAIR OAK AND HORTON HEATH LOCAL AREA COMMITTEE, 18 January 2017: As some of you will have seen, developer Drew Smith has submitted an application to build 250 houses at Pembers Hill Farm on Mortimers Lane, within option C of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s emerging Local Plan. On the back of this application, which is recommended by EBC in its ‘report pack’ (see Item 7, pp 19-62), ADD has written the following open letter to the borough councillors for Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath requesting that they reject it at their Local Area Committee meeting next Wednesday, 25 January. ADD urges all our supporters to come to this meeting at 7.00pm next Wednesday. It will be in the Main Hall at Stoke Park Junior School, Underwood Road, Bishopstoke, SO50 6GR. If this application is approved, it will be the first realisation of our fears…
Dear Councillors Trevor Mignot (Chair), Rob Rushton (Vice Chair), Vickieye Parkinson-MacLachlan, Angela Roling, Desmond Scott, Anne Winstanley and Nicholas Couldrey,
We urge extreme caution with regards to the outline planning application for Pembers Hill Farm that you are due to determine at your 25 January Local Area Committee meeting.
What particularly concerns us is that much of the justification from Drew Smith for bringing this application forward (see page 1 and clause 6.1.4 in this document) and many of the comments in your officers’ report refer to the “strategic development area” north of Bishopstoke and the so-called North Bishopstoke Link Road – key elements of so-called options B and C in your emerging Local Plan – as if they had already been agreed.
For example, clause 150 on page 55 of your EBC ‘report pack’ states: “It is recognized that for the development to proceed it would need to assist in delivering substantial mitigation solutions which would be required of it as part of [a] strategic development area. This infrastructure includes a northern link road linking Fair Oak to the M3/north Eastleigh via Allbrook, and other major highway improvements.”
If you follow the recommendation from your officers and approve the application, you will be sending a clear message to your electorate that you have determined that option C should proceed in advance of the Local Plan – indeed even in advance of a draft version of the Local Plan.
And this will be despite claims from many EBC councillors, including some of you, that no decision on the Local Plan has yet been taken.
In short, if you approve this application, it will indicate that the Local Plan has been predetermined by yourselves.
With best wishes
The team at ADD