ADD UPDATE, 21 November 2019: Over the last four years, volunteers at ADD, together with our professional advisers, have worked hard to hold Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC), to account when it comes to his council’s Local Plan decision-making. Christa Masters, an independent Planning Inspector, will examine the details of his Plan at an inquiry starting today, and lasting into January.
In an article in the Daily Echo yesterday about the huge support for St Francis Animal Welfare, a 62-year-old animal shelter which would be very badly affected by Easteigh’s Local Plan but has been ignored by EBC, Keith House gave the following statement:
“The Local Plan is with the Planning Inspector ahead of the Inquiry and as such is now out of the Council’s hands. The Inspector will not consider a petition. When the Local Plan is endorsed by the Inspector, any planning application for development will have to give regard to site issues including neighbouring land uses.
“The Council will respond to these as part of its planning role at the time including by consideration alongside the Master Plan that will be developed over the next two years. There is no Master Plan at this stage, so the speculation around St Francis’ is, at the moment, just speculation and is creating needless worry. At multiple points, there will be opportunities for the charity, supporters and neighbours to be involved and this is the best place for the charity’s concerns to be considered.”
We must hold Mr House to account here too.
First, Mr House says “when the Local Plan is endorsed by the Inspector”. Of course, he should have said “if”.
Second, he says “there is no Master Plan at this stage, so the speculation around St Francis is, at the moment, just speculation and is creating needless worry”.
Needless worry?! Really. If there is no Master Plan, what is this document published in May 2018, which clearly has Master Plan in the title? And this one, published last October, as an addendum?
Our local communities have been at Keith House’s mercy for way too long. The Planning Inspector must now decide whether his Local Plan is sound or not. We look forward to presenting our arguments against his proposals to her in the weeks ahead.