General election, Paul Holmes, Conservative candidate for Eastleigh, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 27 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 27 November, Paul Holmes, Conservative candidate for Eastleigh, sent us the following email:

Politicians are often criticised for not giving straight answers so let me be crystal clear – I am opposed to this Local Plan.

I share many of the concerns that ADD and local residents have with the plan in its current form. I am clear that it would damage ancient woodland, damage local wildlife and generate more traffic and congestion. The answers and evidence that Eastleigh Borough Council have supplied in support of the plan have so far been inadequate.

This is why, like many of you, I attended the Examination Hearing at the Botleigh Grange Hotel last week and made these points to the Inspector.  The Strategic Growth Option (Options B & C) in the plan would cause irreparable damage to the environment and the character of the community. Given the detrimental impact that the plan would have on our quality of life, it cannot be allowed to go ahead.

There are also several missed opportunities with the current plan. There is insufficient focus on developing brownfield sites, the council is delivering more homes than is required and it is putting them in the wrong location.

Furthermore, the process that has been followed by the council is as bad as the plan itself. Eastleigh Borough Council has been without a plan for almost a decade and this has allowed speculative and unsuitable development to take place in the borough. One plan has already been rejected and officers were still preparing technical documents after the consultation closed. This does not represent a fair and open consultation.

There is no doubt in my mind that this plan is unsuitable in its current form. My solution would be to bring the council and the community together to devise an exciting new plan that protects our environment, and quality life, whilst clearly setting out where development should and shouldn’t take place.

If the council continues on its current course and refuses to listen, then I will continue to stand with ADD and local residents and oppose the plan with all the energy I have.”

Paul Holmes, Conservative candidate for Eastleigh