David Ashe, 9 September 2016: As you will see in this map of options B and C, this area would comprise 195 hectares (482 acres) of housing development, mostly located between Crowd Hill and Mortimers Lane, with small infill sites around Allbrook. In addition, the developers Highwood propose 72 hectares (178 acres) of development on EBC designated ‘priority diversity areas’. Developments are already underway building in these supposedly protected areas. The plan necessitates a 6.5 kilometre-long distributor road running from Mortimers Lane to the M3 at Allbrook, through some of the prettiest green fields in Hampshire. The development would be broken up by 16 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, and would stretch all the way up to the South Downs National Park at Lower Upham, all of which would be put at risk by putting houses right next door to them.
The distributor road would use the existing bridge at Allbrook. Despite the fact that lorries regularly get jammed under this bridge and the bridge floods, there are no plans to address these problems.
Further, the best option for a local centre for the development would be on Mortimers Lane. Even here only a minority of the total number of homes would be within 1 kilometre (walkable distance) of the local centre, making this development highly car dependent, with no public transport other than buses to connect it to Eastleigh or other centres.
Meanwhile, as shown in this map, options D and E would comprise 240 hectares (593 acres) of development clustered around a new local centre with a new railway station (proposed by the Solent LEP in its latest report on strategic investment) connecting direct to Eastleigh and, with the LEP’s proposed new rail loop, to central Southampton. Most of the new homes would be within 1 kilometre (walkable distance) of the local centre. A new road running direct to Eastleigh would provide a South Bishopstoke bypass, and there is the potential to provide the missing Junction 6 on the M27.
A landscaped buffer running north of the M27 would avoid coalescence with West End and there is also scope for a landscape buffer strip south of Fair Oak / Bishopstoke. Meanwhile, a biodiversity corridor would link the Itchen Valley Country Park to other Sites of Importance for Nature Conversation in the area.