Chris Packham: “It is desperately important that people get behind this campaign.”
Action Against Destructive Development (ADD) was founded in early 2016 following the publication of the Issues and Options Consultation for Eastleigh Borough Council’s Local Plan. We began with two informal groups of concerned residents from the villages of Colden Common, Bishopstoke and Upham agreeing to join forces, and quickly grew to represent a range of local communities with thousands of supporters.
Whilst recognising the need for appropriate new housing to accommodate a growing population nationally, especially to help people onto the housing ladder, we believe the current version of Eastleigh’s Local Plan is unjustified and proposes the wrong housing in the wrong place by means of a flawed process. Our greatest concern relates to the proposed allocation of 5,500 new houses – its Strategic Growth Option (also referred to as Options B and C) – and a major new road in the far north of borough. For more on our position, click here.
ADD has a main committee with a wide range of skills, supported by sub-committees, and employs legal planning and other consultants to inform its work. We have the backing of eight parish councils, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the Angling Trust, the Woodland Trust, the Campaign for Better Transport and several other organisations with an interest in the environment and good planning. Our support comes from across the political spectrum, including all three local MPs. It is backed by the Labour, Conservative and Green parties, by both Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors on Winchester City Council, and by the environmental campaigner Chris Packham, who grew up in the area. Three Independent candidates opposed to the current version of the Local Plan were elected to represent Bishopstoke in the 2018 borough elections. For more on our supporters, click here.
At every turn in this saga, Eastleigh Borough Council has chosen not to listen to our views, nor the views of our many supporters. Anyone who witnessed Eastleigh’s full council meeting in December 2017 – and there were more than 800 there from the ADD community – will know that council leaders showed a total disregard for the facts and for due process when they chose Options B and C. Given the council’s unfathomable fixation on Options B and C, we have always known that the make or break point in our fight would be the Planning Inspector’s examination of its proposals, a mandatory part of the Local Plan process. We have also known that, in order to win, we would have to raise the necessary funds to engage high quality professional advisers to take on the council and its own extensive list of consultants and lawyers.
The Planning Inspector’s Examination-in-Public took place over six weeks between November 2019 and January 2020. On 6 April 2020, ADD gave a strong welcome to the Planning Inspector’s letter to Eastleigh Borough Council in which she instructed the removal of Options B and C and the North Bishopstoke link road from the Local Plan.
Soon afterwards, ADD obtained confirmation from Nick Tustian, CEO of Eastleigh Borough Council, that Options B and C would be removed from the council’s Local Plan, together with the proposed link road. However, he went on to state that “it would be utterly misleading to say the SGO has been dropped from any future review or plans”
So our fight continues…
If you live in, or close to, Allbrook, Boyatt Wood, Bishopstoke, Fair Oak, Owslebury, Upham, Bishop’s Waltham, Colden Common, Chandler’s Ford, Highbridge, Brambridge, Twyford or Otterbourne, we hope you will familiarise yourself with this website.
If you have a wider interest in planning – particularly as it relates to transport, the environment and due process – we think our experience may offer you a fascinating case study.
In the meantime, thank you to all our supporters for the terrific support we have received over the last four years. Together, we will win this fight… once and for all!
We hope you enjoy our website.