Winchester City Council election, 2 May: Hannah Williams, Liberal Democrat candidate for Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery on Winchester City Council, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 25 April 2019: Ahead of the local elections on Thursday 2 May, Action against Destructive Development (ADD) has invited each candidate standing for Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC), and each candidate standing for Winchester City Council, to supply us with up to 350 words on their views on EBC’s draft Local Plan and its progress. The same invitation was extended to candidates in the parish/town council elections in our area.

As you will be aware, EBC voted to include ‘options B and C’ in its Local Plan, namely proposals for around 5,500 houses and a major new road north of Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Allbrook and south of Colden Common, Owslebury and Upham, significantly affecting Boyatt Wood, Chandler’s Ford, Hiltingbury, Otterbourne, Brambridge, Highbridge, Twyford and Bishop’s Waltham. This draft Plan will be examined by an independent planning inspector later this year.

As part of our virtual hustings, Hannah Williams, Liberal Democrat candidate for Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery on Winchester City Council, has sent us the following message:

I am a local campaigner who believes that development needs to be in the right place and work for the people it serves.  As the chair of planning on Otterbourne Parish Council I have worked closely with Save Otterbourne to defend my village against inappropriate development.  

The proposed Eastleigh Local Plan development will impact on all the surrounding villages so I have worked with ADD in my capacity as a parish councillor, attending and organising meetings locally so that local people have a chance to hear about the Eastleigh development first hand.  I have also helped with delivering ADD leaflets and worked on the Parish Council objections with other councillors. I, like many residents locally, objected to the Plan. My main objections concern the impact of the Plan on the countryside, the Itchen and its wildlife; the inadequacy of the road infrastructure and the extra traffic generated through our villages. Existing levels of traffic cause problems through all the villages north of the site at busy times but more so when the M3 has to be diverted. The Plan doesn’t make provision for building the new road before any development or show firm plans for enlarging Allbrook Bridge to accommodate large vehicles.

We need to protect our woodlands particularly ancient ones. I was a founding trustee of SOCCT (Sparrowgrove Oakwood Copse Conservation Trust), am its current chair and worked as a key fundraiser to ensure that we raised the £80,000 needed to protect it forever.

Last year I founded Plastic Free Winchester, working with numerous environmental groups in the city, attending environmental forums and speaking in 14 schools both primary and secondary about the environment and how we as individuals can protected it and work together for the common good.

My record shows that I take action where needed and if I am elected as a Winchester City councillor I will work with the council to put forward local views about the Local Plan and, if it is approved by the inspector, will work hard to mitigate all the impacts.”

Hannah Williams, Liberal Democrat candidate for Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery on Winchester City Council,