Developers eye Fair Oak as a site for massive urban expansion

ADD UPDATE, 31 August 2023: A firm of developers has acquired option agreements on 192 acres of land north of Fair Oak with a view to building 1,500 homes – so reviving a large part of the Option C expansion area rejected by the planning inspector two years ago. Croudace say their proposal would include a new primary school and local centre.

The news is certain to alarm Fair Oak residents who will recall how the previous Eastleigh Local Plan would have engulfed the village, together with neighbouring Bishopstoke, in a massive urban sprawl. Eastleigh Borough Council has invited anyone to send in details of potential sites for development by September 6 as it gears up for its next local plan. It is not yet clear whether it will promote this particular proposal.

ADD (Action against Destructive Development), while accepting the need for some new housing in the borough, views the site as totally unacceptable. The inspector slammed development in this area, largely because of the impact on the South Downs National Park and its narrow lanes. With no public transport infrastructure, it would be heavily car-dependant and put a massive pressure on the already overloaded road network, with no realistic way of alleviating it.

“It’s disappointing but not especially surprising that Fair Oak is once again threatened by inappropriate development, which would have a big impact on the environment and the quality of life of local people,” said ADD chair David Ashe. “With the help of our supporters, we will be putting forward strong, evidence-based arguments and – like last time – will be working hard to ensure the right outcome.”

The new Eastleigh Local Plan is due to come into force in 2029.