The phoney war is over but the real battle is just beginning

Sarah Le May, Councillor, Upham, 8 August 2016: Despite having received by far the largest number of objections to the initial proposals, our worst fears were confirmed last week when Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) decided that options B and C would be carried forward for further investigation.

Although they will continue to try to establish some smaller scale developments, Eastleigh has broadly decided that the majority of its housing need up to 2036 should be met from a ‘strategic scale development’. They suggest that, after allowing for almost 10,000 dwellings that are already in the planning process, there will be another 6,500 required: with a potential for 6,200 new homes, options B and C are clearly their preferred options.

Eastleigh claims not to be ruling out the only other Options capable of creating a strategic scale development: options D and E, which are based on land around Allington Lane, south of Fair Oak. This area was included in earlier plans and is considered by many to be a more logical choice. However, the statement in the Way Forward document that, “[Options D and E] must be seen as doubtful at this time”, might be seen by the more cynical as suggesting that they believe that the decision has already been made.

However, the initial reports from our planning and traffic consultants suggest that we have good grounds on which to fight these proposals: they consider that the impact on the National Park and the ecological protection given to the River Itchen in options B and C may make this selection difficult to be shown to be sound. We also continue to pursue inadequacies in the transportation assessments and believe that, once greater work has been undertaken by EBC in this respect, the problems we have identified with the proposed new road will raise further questions as to the viability of this scheme.

Five Action Against Destructive Development representatives (all Eastleigh residents) spoke at the Council Meeting and we hope that they have shown how serious we are in opposition to B and C. We are now working hard to involve our MPs, local councillors and extend the work of our consultants: generally trying to find any means by which we can undermine these proposals. This is potentially the biggest threat that Upham has ever faced and we will need everyone’s help!