ADD UPDATE, 29 October 2017: Huge concerns have been raised over Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s “public engagement” on its emerging Local Plan – top of these concerns: no meetings with the public!
At unbelievably short notice, EBC has called a meeting of neighbouring local parish councillors (from Durley, Bishop’s Waltham, Otterbourne, Upham, Owslebury, Colden Common, and Twyford) on 8 November to discuss this enormous issue. Please see the letter from EBC to parish councillors below.
As you will see, this letter raises serious concerns about EBC’s “public engagement process”.
First, it includes a link to an ambiguous and misleading video about the council’s priorities, which – amazingly – makes NO MENTION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT.
Second, it includes another link to a fatuous survey, which is:
(a) only aimed at people who live, work or own a business in Eastleigh. What if you live just outside Eastleigh, visit the town regularly to do your shopping and will be significantly impacted by future development in the borough? Extraordinarily, it seems EBC’s survey is not interested in the views of these people.
(b) clearly aimed at reaching the conclusion the council wants to reach, namely by asking a load of irrelevant questions and steering virtually everyone to say that their number one priority regarding the forthcoming Local Plan is “traffic congestion”. We know this already; we just dispute the council’s preferred solution (its ‘options B and C’), which involves building 5,200 new houses north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, miles from any public transport, and accompanied by a major new road which travels devastatingly close to ancient woodland and through the very low Allbrook railway arch (so can’t take HGVs)! You couldn’t make it up!
In its letter to neighbouring parish councillors, EBC encourages “local people to give their views”. Given the survey has been carefully crafted to give the council what it wants, we encourage you to:
(a) complete the survey by filling in the free text boxes to record your disgust at its preferred plan; and
(b) if you live in a Winchester parish impacted by Eastleigh’s Local Plan, to contact your local parish councillors to make sure they attend the meeting on 8 November fully armed with the ferocity of your views. Please note that this will be your only chance to get your views to EBC in person. MOST AMAZINGLY OF ALL, THE COUNCIL’S “PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT” ON ITS LOCAL PLAN DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY MEETINGS WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC!
As we enter the last couple of months of EBC’s tortuous Local Plan decision-making process, there will be a few council meetings (which the public can observe) that we REALLY need EVERYONE to attend. The next one will be on Monday 11 December, at which we anticipate the council will formally choose to pursue options B and C – after which the battle really starts! More on this meeting next week.
In the meantime, thank you for your continuing support. Together we will win this fight and see common sense prevail!
LETTER FROM EASTLEIGH BOROUGH COUNCIL ABOUT ITS EMERGING LOCAL PLAN TO NEIGHBOURING LOCAL PARISH COUNCILS (DURLEY, BISHOP’S WALTHAM, OTTERBOURNE, UPHAM, OWSLEBURY, COLDEN COMMON, AND TWYFORD)
Local Plan Engagement: Shaping Your Community
You will be aware that Eastleigh Borough Council is working on a new Local Plan for the Borough. The Borough Council last met in July to hear an update and the ‘Emerging Local Plan’ was noted. At that time Councillors were informed that work was still ongoing and no decisions could be made until all of the technical work and a public engagement was completed. The technical studies are ongoing and we began our public engagement ‘Shaping Your Community’ on Wednesday 11 October. The outcome of this along with the other studies will all be considered before reporting back to the Council in December this year.
As part of our engagement we would like to invite you to a meeting to share your views about what matters most to you and local residents in your community. This will be held on Wednesday 8 November at 6.30pm at Upham Village Hall, Mortimers Lane . Local Parish Councils have also been invited and as neighbouring Councils/ Councillors you have a very important role to play in both sharing your views and those of your residents with us directly and we hope you will also raise awareness of the engagement within your area.
We ask that you share this information as widely as possible in your areas and encourage local people to give us their views. This engagement is a two way process, by which we want to get information to our residents and businesses and we also want to receive views and information from them. Once the Council has adopted a draft Local Plan we will be inviting comments on the detail as part of a formal consultation process. However, until then we want to improve understanding of what a Local Plan is and why it is important to have one. It is also important that we get the views of our residents and businesses from across the borough and in surrounding areas, about what matters most to them.
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 8th November, in the meantime it would be helpful if you can help ensure that we hear from as many residents and businesses as possible from your area. The link below takes you to our website where people can find out lots of information about our emerging local plan including a short video, along with background information to help them understand why we want their views and how this information will be used. https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/planning-building/planning-policy-and-implementation/consultation-and-news/shaping-your-community.aspx
Eastleigh Borough Council
1. Welcome & Introductions
2. The Local Plan
Current situation, and going forward
3. What have we been asking residents?
4. What have we learnt so far?
5. Group discussion:
Discuss within local areas:
what are the top four priorities and why?
what other issues are residents raising?
7. Next steps