General election, Lewis North, Liberal Democrat candidate for Meon Valley, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 21 November 2019: Ahead of the general election on 12 December, ADD has invited each candidate for each constituency that will be impacted by Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan and, in particular, its plans for a ‘Strategic Growth Option’ (SGO) of 5,300 houses and a major new road north of Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, to supply us with up to 350 words on their views on the SGO.

On 21 November, Lewis North, Liberal Democrat candidate for Meon Valley, sent us the following email:

“As things stand I oppose the Eastleigh Local Plan proposals.

I share the deep concerns of many people in Owslebury, Upham and Durley about the impact on local roads and the environment the proposed housing development may have.

While I accept the need for additional housing, particularly affordable housing, and I am not against building additional homes where they are needed, I question whether this is the best location for this number of houses to be built.

Both Winchester City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council have declared a Climate Emergency and are seeking to be carbon neutral by 2030. To be countenancing building over 5,000 new homes over the next 20+ years without building in sustainable transport infrastructure from the outset is incompatible with those goals.

Without alternative transport options local car journeys will increase and make congestion in Owslebury, Upham and Durley worse. At present the Eastleigh Plan seeks to mitigate this through a new link road, although it is not clear when this road would be completed nor how it will be paid for.

The developer should contribute to sustainable means of transport, such as improving cycle connectivity between the new development and the railway stations and potential work places in Winchester and Eastleigh as well as being asked to contribute to improving the roads.

I am also deeply concerned about the environmental impact of the development. Given that this is an area of special scientific interest, I am worried that the run-off from the development could contaminate the River Itchen and affect protected species.

I have explained my concerns with Cllr. Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, and been clear that I have real concerns about the development.

I trust that helps to clarify my position.”

Lewis North, Liberal Democrat candidate for Meon Valley