ADD UPDATE, 29 March 2017: A big ‘thank you’ to all who have helped us make real progress in the campaign to save our area from destructive, ill-considered development – otherwise known as options B and C of Eastleigh’s emerging Local Plan.
On 15 December more than 300 residents attended a full council meeting in Hedge End, requiring an overflow room with TV monitor for those who could not get into the chamber itself. Beforehand we sent all councillors a consultant’s report that demolished the case for options B and C (6,000+ new houses and a new link road to the M3 at Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak – see above).
The report also demonstrated convincingly that alternative options in Allington Lane offer a much more deliverable, people-friendly and environmentally sound location for new housing.
We were delighted that the council listened, voting unanimously to call for more facts before making any decision. (An inaccurate report in the Daily Echo saying that B and C had been chosen was subsequently denied by the council’s press office).
It was, therefore, a disappointment when on 25 January, in the face of another full house of passionate residents, six Bishopstoke and Fair Oak councillors waved through consent for 250 houses at Pembers Hill Farm in Fair Oak. There was no real debate, just clearly pre-prepared speeches of regret. At least the chairman was careful to emphasise that this had nothing to do with B and C. We’d love to believe him!
ADD believes that the tide is turning in the right direction – thanks to formidable public support and the strength of our case.
We plan more meetings with, amongst others, Highways England, councillors, MPs and developers, biodiversity experts, plus our own planning/traffic consultants. Moreover, for the first time, we will be engaging specialist planning lawyers. We will also be holding more public meetings and other community events.
The council is due to publish its Local Plan in May. Before that, we continue to appeal for support and, in particular, for funds to pay for the advisers who are critical to our success. The developers employ lawyers and professional consultants to press their case – and we must do the same. Put bluntly, unless more people put their hands in their pockets, we will be outgunned. All donations count. Please give as much as you can.
To donate or offer other help, please visit: www.add-eastleigh.org/donate or email: [email protected].
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Thank you for your support. Together we will succeed!