Eastleigh council expects to agree modifications to Local Plan in May

ADD UPDATE, 7 February 2021: ADD supporters will have noticed a lull in our activity recently. The reason is that we have been waiting patiently for Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) to respond in full to the planning inspector’s letter of 1 April 2020 – something it originally planned to do by the end of last year. It now appears, however, that we will have to wait until May to learn EBC’s response as much of the necessary work has still to be carried out.

You will recall that the inspector Christa Masters instructed EBC to make substantial changes to the Local Plan. These include the removal of Options B and C (the massive proposed developments in Fair Oak and Bishopstoke) plus associated link road. The next step in the process is for the council to propose modifications to give effect to these required changes and, until that happens, there is very little that interested parties such as ADD can do.

So how long will that take? The council has not said publicly. However, in a letter to the council asking for confirmation of the revised timetable, Ms Masters says she understands EBC is still completing technical work for the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment; and that the main modifications to the Local Plan are now expected to go to full council in May.

There would then be a six-week consultation period starting in June when it is likely that ADD will want to make further representations. After that, depending on the issues raised, the inspector might hold a further examination in public. Alternatively, she could decide this was unnecessary and instead issue a final report, which would sign off the revised local plan.

We estimate that this could all take until the end of the year – six years from the original Issues and Options consultation in December 2015. If that seems like a long time, anyone who cares about the area and its environment will agree that it is of paramount importance to get it right. After all, the results will be with us for ever.

We will, of course, keep you posted of developments as we learn about them.

Click here to read the inspector’s letter in full.