Eastleigh Borough Council may look to revive Options B and C “a lot earlier than in five years’ time”

ADD UPDATE, 16 April 2020: In an article last week, we wrote that Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) had confirmed it will remove Options B and C – its proposals for 5,500 houses to the north of Fair Oak and Bishopstoke – from its Local Plan, together with the proposed link road.

The assurance came in an email from EBC’s chief executive Nick Tustian after ADD chair John Lauwerys had tackled him on comments implying that Options B and C could still be included despite an instruction from the planning inspector to delete them from the Plan. Council leader Keith House had accused ADD of having misled the public when we said that the inspector’s letter meant that Options B and C would have to go.

Despite this good news, our article cautioned that Nick Tustian had gone on to say that the council might revive Options B and C when the next Eastleigh Local Plan comes up for consideration in five years’ time.

On Monday, we heard again from Tustian who wanted to clarify that although the council is required to review its Local Plan within five years, it might well decide to do so sooner than that.

He said: “To the best of my knowledge we haven’t committed ourselves to when this review will be as that is something councillors will be asked to consider. We will want to be satisfied that we can meet future housing targets and be clear on where that development will be as soon as possible and I can see the review being a lot earlier than in five years’ time.”

As we said last week, while we don’t believe it will ever be possible to justify Options B and C (especially in view of the increasing emphasis on fighting climate change), EBC’s refusal to abandon Options B and C “shows the need for continued vigilance”. Tustian’s latest message makes this crystal clear.

In the meantime, we continue our work on an assessment of the way forward, and what needs to be done to secure the future environment and quality of life of our area. We will share our results as soon as possible.

Thank you again to our thousands of supporters for your encouragement. We’re so grateful and hope everyone remains safe and well.