General election, 8 June – how do relevant candidates view options B and C?

ADD UPDATE, 15 May 2017: Ahead of the general election on 8 June, Action Against Destructive Development (ADD) is keen to help voters in Eastleigh, Winchester and the Meon Valley gain a better understanding of how their prospective parliamentary candidates feel about options B and C of Eastleigh Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan (namely its plans for 6,000+ houses and a major new road north of Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak), and any relevant action these candidates intend to take, if elected.

We are therefore giving every candidate in these constituencies the opportunity to supply ADD with up to 100 words on their views on options B and C and 100 words on their intended actions relating to options B and C (NB: we increased this to a total of 350 words on 19 May).  We are happy to include appropriate images and links. 

We will publish their statements on our website as supplied, agreeing any edits with the candidate. All statements will appear on the ADD timeline on Facebook and on Twitter – and we will email all our supporters on Tuesday 30 May with links to each of the statements.

We will be emailing this invitation to all candidates shortly but invite any of them to get in touch with us beforehand, if they would like to do so. 

Our email address is [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from each of the candidates on this critical issue for thousands of people not only in Eastleigh but also in neighbouring communities.


DAVIES Mims, The Conservative Party
JONES Malcolm, UK Independence Party
MELDRUM Ron, The Green Party
PAYNE Jill, Labour Party
THORNTON Mike, Liberal Democrats 


BRINE Steve, The Conservative Party
CHALONER Mark, Labour Party
LYON Martin Edward, UK Independence Party
PORTER Jackie, Liberal Democrats
SKELTON Teresa Mary, The Justice & Anti-Corruption Party
WAINWRIGHT Andrew Karl, Green Party 


BAILEY Paul, UK Independence Party
HAYWARD Andrew Paul, Green Party
HOLLINGBERY George Michael Edward, The Conservative Party
KING Sheena, Labour Party
TOD Martin Paul, Liberal Democrats 


HCC elections: Result shows strength of opposition to EBC’s local plan

ADD UPDATE, 5 May 2017: Lou Parker-Jones, the candidate who stood as an Independent in Fair Oak and Bishopstoke ward in the Hampshire county council elections, said the result “shows the strength of opposition to Eastleigh Borough Council’s local plan.”

She called on the winner, Liberal Democrat Mike Thornton, to make good a pledge made during the campaign to protect ancient woodland in the area known as Stoke Park Woods.

Parker-Jones came second with 1,124 votes standing on a platform that included opposition to proposals to build more than 6,000 new houses in the two villages – plans that have been condemned by many organisations, including local resident, conservation, angling, health and church groups and the Woodland Trust. TV naturalist Chris Packham has described the plans as “eco-vandalism”.

The seat was won by Thornton, the former MP with 1,980 votes. However, since all the other candidates made opposition to EBC’s plans a major part of their campaigns, it means that opponents took the lion’s share of the vote – 61%.

“This is an amazing result considering that we’re just a group of residents with little previous political experience taking on a former MP backed by a powerful party machine,” said Parker-Jones.

“I am delighted to note that during the campaign Mike Thornton made protecting Stoke Park Woods a top election pledge. I hope he will now say how he intends to make good that promise, and whether he will work with us to prevent plans by Eastleigh Borough Council that all experts agree would damage the woods beyond repair.

“Like everyone else we want new houses built in the borough, but there are much better, less damaging and more sustainable places to do so. The council’s motives are purely political and have nothing to do with creating a borough where people want to live.

“This is just the beginning for us. We’re giving a voice to local people who care passionately about their area and feel ignored.  The fight goes on until Eastleigh council stops playing politics with people’s lives.”


Mike Thornton, Liberal Democrat: 1,980
Lou Parker-Jones, Independent: 1,124
Steven Broomfield, Conservative: 1,000
John Edwards, UKIP: 451
Ray Bellinger, Labour: 364
Dave Hubble, Green: 124


HCC elections, 4 May – ADD count: candidates for us, candidates ignoring us

ADD UPDATE, 3 May 2017: Ahead of tomorrow’s Hampshire County Council (HCC) elections, ADD invited each candidate for each division that will be impacted by options B and C of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan (namely its plans for 6,000+ houses and a major new road north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak) to submit an article of no more than 100 words that describes their position with regards to this proposed major development area.

ADD would like to thank all of the candidates who took the time to send us a brief statement on their views and position regarding options B and C, thereby participating in our virtual hustings.

Of the 11 candidates who replied to our open invitation, ALL said they support our campaign. The remaining eight candidates chose to ignore us. Please see the final count (in alphabetical order, by division) below. Those in green responded – click on their links to read their respective submissions.

Please SHARE this message and don’t forget to VOTE tomorrow, Thursday 4 May!

Bishopstoke and Fair Oak

Eastleigh North (includes Allbrook) (Eastleigh)

Winchester Downlands (includes Otterbourne) (Winchester)

Bishops Waltham (includes Colden Common and Upham) (Winchester)

  • Steve Haines, Labour – NO REPLY
  • Rob Humby, Conservative – NO REPLY
  • Victoria Jones, Green
  • Lewis North, Liberal Democrat – NO REPLY


HCC elections: Chris Yates, Conservative candidate for Eastleigh North, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 3 May 2017: Ahead of the Hampshire County Council (HCC) elections on 4 May, ADD has invited each candidate for each ward that will be impacted by options B and C of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan (namely its plans for 6,000+ houses and a major new road north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak) to submit an article of no more than 100 words that describes their position with regards to this proposed major development area.

On 3 May, Chris Yates, Conservative candidate for Eastleigh North (including Allbrook), sent us the following email:

I fully support Action Against Destructive Development in their fight to protect our land.  The local plan that will prevent hostile housing developments is now more than seven years overdue!

Chris Yates, Conservative candidate for Eastleigh North


HCC elections: Victoria Jones, Green candidate for Bishops Waltham, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 3 May 2017: Ahead of the Hampshire County Council (HCC) elections on 4 May, ADD has invited each candidate for each ward that will be impacted by options B and C of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan (namely its plans for 6,000+ houses and a major new road north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak) to submit an article of no more than 100 words that describes their position with regards to this proposed major development area.

On 3 May, Victoria Jones, Green candidate for Bishops Waltham (including Colden Common and Upham), sent us the following email:

“I have a degree in conservation biology and I am appalled about the planned development. I understand the area includes not only several areas of designated ancient woodland and hedgerows but also a part of the River Itchen (including a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation). Clearly environmental concerns should form a major part of the case against this development. It is against EU laws for Eastleigh Borough Council to adopt this area as the site for such as major development. Green spaces should be protected. The same is happening in Bishops Waltham. It’s unnecessary.”

Victoria Jones, Green candidate for Bishops Waltham


Why Eastleigh Borough Council’s proposed ‘relief road’ in options B and C is doomed to fail

ADD UPDATE, 2 May 2017, Bruce Mitchell, resident of Fair Oak: The document ‘Eastleigh Strategic Development – Options B and C, Strategic Site Rationale and Proposed Delivery Strategy’, published last November by developers Highwood and Drew Smith (and favoured by Eastleigh Borough Council), lays out in rosy developers’ and politicians’ language the reasons why the rolling landscape north of Fair Oak and Bishopstoke should be filled with houses and cars and tarmacked over. It exudes the usual positive glow of this sort of document, talking about ‘enhancing, reinforcing, creating, providing, delivering’ all sorts of putative benefits to the people they hope will be drawn in to buy from them at hugely inflated costs. Oh, and also to the existing communities who treasure the woodland and countryside walks as they currently stand.

But the presentation style is disingenuous and needs to be recognised as such and discounted.

It is claimed that the proposed ‘strategic relief road’ will ‘remove traffic, provide relief, reduce volumes…’ It might, were the road to be built in isolation. But it will not be. It is foreseen as a component of a huge building project delivering 6,200 homes – and would, in any case, be severely hindered by the low and narrow Allbrook railway bridge at the west end, which Network Rail has no plans to expand.

So, what does ‘remove, reduce, relieve’ actually look like?

Although some of the development within option B (medium- and low-density housing parcels H54-H70 + primary school – see map here) would be located within the boundaries of Bishopstoke parish, it would not be organically connected to Bishopstoke village. Instead it would be linked to the majority of the rest of the plan (high-, medium- and low-density housing parcels H1-H53+ primary school + secondary school – see map here), which is destined for the parish of Fair Oak and Horton Heath.

Given this, and the fact that the development’s proposed connection with Eastleigh would be provided by the new road through Allbrook, it seems appropriate to discuss the impact of the plan in terms of statistics for Fair Oak and Horton Heath parish rather than those for Bishopstoke parish.

According to the 2011 Census, the Parish of Fair Oak and Horton Heath has the highest average household (HH) size of the eleven council areas within the Borough of Eastleigh (2.25 persons per household) and the second-highest average rate of cars or vans per household  (1.68 [6,768 vehicles]). The average rate across the Borough of Eastleigh was 1.5 cars or vans per household, well above the national average of 1.2. This is because people living on the urban fringe or in the countryside are more dependent on private transport than people who live in town or city centres.

On the basis of these parish averages, the 6,200 extra households delivered by options B and C can be expected to increase the population by an estimated 15,750 persons (2.54 x 6200 HH) and to add 10,416 vehicles (1.68 x 6200 HH) to the roads – on top of 1,790 persons and 1,190 vehicles already coming from developments at Crowdhill Green (330 houses), Pembers Hill Farm (250), Mortimers Lane (46) and Carnaval Gardens (78) on the corner of Knowle Lane and Mortimers Lane (1.68 x (330+250+46+78 HH)).

This would take the number of cars and vans in the parish from 6,768 in 2011 to 18,397 – 272% of the 2011 number. The idea that all these will only ever go along that new road and into Eastleigh is preposterous.

The evidence suggests the proposed ‘relief road’ is doomed to fail!


Table for the Output Area statistics for population and household size:

2011 Census: Table PHP01. Usual residents by resident type, and population density, number of households with at least one usual resident and average household size, Output Areas (OAs) in the South East

  • Usual residents (In household (HH) and communal establishments (CE)
  • HH count
  • Average HH size (persons per household)
  • Census output area (OA) area (m2)
  • Population density (persons per square kilometre)

Table for the Output Area statistics for car or van availability:

2011 Census: Table KS404EW – Car or van availability (from NOMIS)

  • All HH
  • No cars or vans in household
  • 1 car or van in household
  • 2 cars or vans in household
  • 3 cars or vans in household
  • 4 or more cars or vans in household
  • Sum of all cars or vans in the area

Extracts were drawn from these two tables for Eastleigh Borough, at Census Output Area level. They were then merged using OA code, and aggregated up to parish level, on the basis of the population-weighted centroids of Census Output Area – as specified by the Office for National Statistics’s best fitting procedure.


HCC elections: Catherine Hutchinson, Labour candidate for Winchester Downlands, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 2 May 2017: Ahead of the Hampshire County Council (HCC) elections on 4 May, ADD has invited each candidate for each ward that will be impacted by options B and C of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan (namely its plans for 6,000+ houses and a major new road north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak) to submit an article of no more than 100 words that describes their position with regards to this proposed major development area.

On 2 May, Catherine Hutchinson, Labour candidate for Winchester Downlands, sent us the following email:

“I wholly endorse the Action Against Destructive Development campaign. Eastleigh Borough Council’s options B and C are needlessly destructive. They cut across irreplaceable ancient woodland with a road that will increase traffic congestion and pollution. They involve injudicious building on precious areas of biodiversity. Working with housing associations, local organisations and councils Corbyn’s Labour has a housing policy that prioritises affordable, environmentally friendly homes including social housing and rental properties, all linked by a transport system that is “integrated, green and efficient”. These are the kind of sustainable and socially inclusive housing solutions Bishopstoke and Fair Oak need.”

Catherine Hutchinson, Labour candidate for Winchester Downlands


English bluebells in the woods of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak

ADD UPDATE, 1 May 2017: Last Saturday, a group of us went for a guided run or a walk from the Fox and Hounds pub to see the bluebells in Upper Barn Copse, Crowdhill Copse and Stoke Park Wood. We were careful to keep to public rights of way.

There is no suggestion that the woods will be felled if Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) pursues options B and C of its Local Plan – but the ADD campaign maintains that there would be a devastating impact on them.

Building housing and roads too close to woods leads to wildlife corridors being degraded. There is also concern about invasive non-native species of plants spreading into sites of ancient natural woodland, damaging the ecology. This often happens unintentionally when gardens are close to woods. And the bluebells highlight this risk. Spanish bluebells are an invasive, non-native plant that can out-compete and hybridise with the English bluebell. Spanish bluebells are a comparatively common weed in local gardens, and the RHS recommends avoiding planting in gardens close to woods.

If options B and C go ahead, our bluebell glades will be at risk.

The Forestry Commission, which owns Stoke Park Wood, has informed EBC about the risk of developing too close to the woods and has stated that there has been little or no buffer with previous developments (click here for its letter to EBC, dated 12 December 2016). It has proposed a buffer of 10-15 hectares north of Stoke Park Wood to offset the impact. ADD has already reported that the Woodland Trust is concerned about developing the gap between its two Sites of Ancient Natural Woodland (Crowdhill Copse and Upper Barn Copse). The Woodland Trust believes the gap is too narrow for the proposed new road to have no impact on its woods.

Please do go and see the bluebells. Don’t pick them, do keep to the paths. Do remove Spanish bluebells from your gardens, and add to green waste collection at kerbside or at household waste recycling centres*. Let’s enjoy the countryside north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak and protect it for future generations too.

* Green waste schemes operated by local authorities compost garden waste at high temperatures set so that weed seeds are rendered unviable.



Listen NOW to Chris Packham and the Woodland Trust criticise options B and C on BBC Radio Solent

ADD UPDATE, 30 April 2017: This recording of BBC Radio Solent’s interview with TV naturalist Chris Packham and the Woodland Trust’s Chris Hickman on 20 April is a MUST LISTEN for anyone living in, or close to, Bishopstoke, Fair Oak, Upham, Owslebury, Allbrook, Colden Common, Chandler’s Ford, Highbridge, Brambridge, Twyford or Otterbourne. To pique your interest, here are some excerpts:

“Don’t trash an area of international importance,” that’s the message from Chris Packham to Eastleigh Borough Council who want to build a new bypass and 6,000 houses near ancient woodlands and over the River Itchen (options B and C of its emerging Local Plan).

Packham tells BBC Radio Solent’s Jo Palmer: “When you are fortunate enough to be operating in a borough where this is such significant ecological value then you certainly don’t trash that. Think again. Think more carefully. Don’t think about yourselves. Think about your grandchildren who might be living in that borough…”

Asked about the planned development’s impact on the area’s ancient woodland, Packham replies: “There is a plethora of reasons why you don’t have to cut a tree down to have an impact on woodland and of course the same goes exactly for the waterways.”

The Woodland Trust’s Chris Hickman agrees with Packham, adding: “We have a real problem because [this proposed development] will impact two woods that we own… We campaign to protect ancient woodland across the country… but it is quite rare that [a development] impacts on two woods which we own – so clearly it’s a concern to us.”

Hickman says that the proposed new road “will go right through the middle of the two woods we own… There is about 100-150 metre gap between these two woods and you can imagine if it’s a bypass it’s not going to be a small road so you can imagine the width of that road is likely to be quite substantial. As Chris is saying, it’s not just necessarily about cutting trees down… Ancient woods have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years; they’ll have been undisturbed so to suddenly have a bypass…and development next to them… is clearly going to be very hard for the wildlife.”

He goes on: “When there is development that threatens ancient wood we always talk about having a buffer, but it’s important that that buffer is of significant distance to keep the woods as minimally impacted as possible – so clearly the bypass going in between two woods where there is only 100-150 metres distance at the moment is going to be quite tricky…

“The government [recently] published a white paper on housing… [in which it] recognised the value of ancient woodland, so we are calling now for government to act on that, to ensure ancient woodland does have better protection… so that developments like this can’t impact on ancient woodland.”

Asked for a message for Eastleigh Borough Council, Hickman says: “Clearly there is need to build houses across the country but it shouldn’t be at the cost of what is an irreplaceable habitat that needs to be protected… We need to look after the wildlife for the people and future generations that use the woods.”

Eastleigh Borough Council were asked onto the programme but said they were unavailable.

To listen to the recording, click here.


Letter to the Echo: Eastleigh’s local plan is driven only by financial gains

Letter to the Echo from Richard May, Eastleigh, 4 April 2017: Eastleigh Borough Council’s local plan that will devastate the Stoke Park Wood area is yet another of their crazed schemes driven only by the perceived financial gains that it will create. Where we can fight these plans is at the ballot box. There is desperate need for political change in Eastleigh. We all need to vote at the imminent local election. Less than 30% of us bother to vote and as a result many of the ruling Lib Dem councillors retain their seat with just 10% of the vote. I urge all those fighting these plans to vote. The possibility of losing political power will frighten this Council more than any other action.