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General election, Ron Meldrum, Green Party candidate for Eastleigh, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 21 November 2019: Ahead of the general election on 12 December, ADD has invited each candidate for each constituency that will be impacted by Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan and, in particular, its plans for a ‘Strategic Growth Option’ (SGO) of 5,300 houses and a major new road north of Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, to supply us with up to 350 words on their views on the SGO.

On 21 November, Ron Meldrum, Green Party candidate for Eastleigh, sent us the following email:

“The philosophy of the Green Party is that we need a sustainable society and not one based on continual growth. The growth model of economics, which the other political parties are so keen on pursuing, is wrecking the planet and if left unchecked will wreck us too. It has been said many a time that anyone who thinks we can have infinite growth on a finite planet is either madman or an economist.

I moved to Eastleigh in 1983 and since then I have seen the continual erosion of green and open land replaced with concrete and housing. This has resulted in increased car usage, more roads, increased air pollution and increased noise pollution. A low carbon integrated public transport system is still missing, despite the other parties telling us how green they are. It seems in reality they are not green?

It was the Tory government, in 2011, which told Eastleigh Borough Council it must build more homes. The whole emphasis of the new Local Plan is all about building on virtually every space it can find; which includes many green spaces. The erosion of green spaces worries me as this reduces our biodiversity, can affect our mental health, education, destruction of nature and well-being.

As such, I would find it difficult to support the new Local Plan. The plan is all about growth and the ultimate destruction of nature’s life support systems. For a healthy society, we should protect all life and work with nature and not against it.

Eastleigh Greens have supported campaigns against the Southampton Airport expansion and the development planned for Fair Oak and Horton Heath – as well as the astronomical estate planned for the much loved and used Stoke Park Woods in Bishopstoke.

As a parliamentary candidate for Eastleigh I hope you will feel able to support the goals of the Green Party in Eastleigh and vote accordingly on the 12 December.”

Ron Meldrum, Green Party candidate for Eastleigh

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Mr House, when is a Master Plan not a Master Plan?

ADD UPDATE, 21 November 2019: Over the last four years, volunteers at ADD, together with our professional advisers, have worked hard to hold Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC), to account when it comes to his council’s Local Plan decision-making. Christa Masters, an independent Planning Inspector, will examine the details of his Plan at an inquiry starting today, and lasting into January.

In an article in the Daily Echo yesterday about the huge support for St Francis Animal Welfare, a 62-year-old animal shelter which would be very badly affected by Easteigh’s Local Plan but has been ignored by EBC, Keith House gave the following statement:

“The Local Plan is with the Planning Inspector ahead of the Inquiry and as such is now out of the Council’s hands. The Inspector will not consider a petition. When the Local Plan is endorsed by the Inspector, any planning application for development will have to give regard to site issues including neighbouring land uses.

“The Council will respond to these as part of its planning role at the time including by consideration alongside the Master Plan that will be developed over the next two years. There is no Master Plan at this stage, so the speculation around St Francis’ is, at the moment, just speculation and is creating needless worry. At multiple points, there will be opportunities for the charity, supporters and neighbours to be involved and this is the best place for the charity’s concerns to be considered.”

We must hold Mr House to account here too.

First, Mr House says “when the Local Plan is endorsed by the Inspector”. Of course, he should have said “if”.

Second, he says “there is no Master Plan at this stage, so the speculation around St Francis is, at the moment, just speculation and is creating needless worry”.

Needless worry?! Really. If there is no Master Plan, what is this document published in May 2018, which clearly has Master Plan in the title? And this one, published last October, as an addendum?

Our local communities have been at Keith House’s mercy for way too long. The Planning Inspector must now decide whether his Local Plan is sound or not. We look forward to presenting our arguments against his proposals to her in the weeks ahead.

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General election, Paula Ferguson, Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester, writes…

ADD UPDATE, 20 November 2019: Ahead of the general election on 12 December, ADD has invited each candidate for each constituency that will be impacted by Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan and, in particular, its plans for a ‘Strategic Growth Option’ (SGO) of 5,300 houses and a major new road north of Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, to supply us with up to 350 words on their views on the SGO.

On 20 November, Paula Ferguson, Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester, has sent us the following email:

“As things stand I oppose the Eastleigh Local Plan proposals.

I share the deep concerns that many people have about the impact on local roads and the environment the proposed housing development may have.

Having lived in Winchester for 20 years, I know first-hand how bad the congestion is on the Colden Common & Twyford road, to the extent that children travelling from Colden Common to schools in Winchester now have to get a bus more than 20 minutes earlier just to get to school on time.

While I accept the need for additional housing, particularly affordable housing, and I am not against building additional homes where they are needed, I question whether this is the best location for this number of houses to be built.

Both Winchester City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council have declared a Climate Emergency and are seeking to be carbon neutral by 2030. To be countenancing building over 5,000 new homes over the next 20+ years without building in sustainable transport infrastructure from the outset is incompatible with those goals.

Without alternative transport options local car journeys will increase and make congestion particularly in Colden Common & Twyford worse. At present the Eastleigh Plan seeks to mitigate this through a new link road, although it is not clear when this road would be completed nor how it will be paid for.

The developer should contribute to sustainable means of transport, such as improving cycle connectivity between the new development and the railway stations and potential work places in Winchester and Eastleigh as well as being asked to contribute to improving the roads.

I am also deeply concerned about the environmental impact of the development. Given that this is an area of special scientific interest, I am worried that the run-off from the development could contaminate the River Itchen and affect protected species.

I have explained my concerns to Cllr. Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, and been clear that as it stands I am opposed to the housing development.

I trust that helps to clarify my position.”

Paula Ferguson, Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester

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Threatened Animal Welfare Centre “thrilled with overwhelming community support” after 6,000 people sign petition

Daily Echo, 20 November 2018: OVER 6000 people have now publicly supported St Francis Animal Welfare, after another 1000 people have signed the petition in the last 24 hours. The Eastleigh community has united in support of ‘one of the oldest animal shelters in Hampshire’, after it was announced that the Council’s local plan will place it under severe threat… Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, said: “The Local Plan is with the Planning Inspector ahead of the Inquiry and as such is now out of the Council’s hands. The Inspector will not consider a petition. When the Local Plan is endorsed by the Inspector, any planning application for development will have to give regard to site issues including neighbouring land uses.”

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General election, 12 December – how do your candidates view Eastleigh’s Local Plan?

ADD UPDATE, 18 November 2019: Ahead of the general election on 12 December, 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 Eastleigh Borough Council’s Local Plan and, in particular, its plans for a ‘Strategic Growth Option’ (SGO) of 5,300 houses and a major new road north of Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak. The Planning Inspector’s examination of the Plan starts on Thursday, 21 November, and runs for six weeks.

We are therefore giving every candidate in these constituencies the opportunity to supply ADD with up to 350 words on their views on Eastleigh’s Plan.  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 10 December 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.

GENERAL ELECTION 2019

PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES FOR EASTLEIGH

HOLMES Paul, Conservative and Unionist Party
JORDAN Sam, Labour Party
MELDRUM Ron, Green Party
MURPHY Lynda Jane, Liberal Democrats 

PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES FOR WINCHESTER

BAKER George, Labour Party
BRINE Steve, Conservative and Unionist Party
FERGUSON, Paula Wendy, Liberal Democrats
SKELTON Teresa, The Justice & Anti-Corruption Party

PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES FOR MEON VALLEY

BUNDAY Matt, Labour Party
DRUMMOND Flick, Conservative and Unionist Party
NORTH Lewis, Liberal Democrats
WALLACE Malcolm, Green Party 

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5,000 people sign petition to stop animal shelter being “squeezed out” by Eastleigh Local Plan

Daily Echo, 18 November 2019: ONE of Hampshire’s oldest animal rescue centre’s is pleading for public support, as it fears the council’s local plan will ‘squeeze them out of existence’. Almost 5,000 people have signed a petition to save St Francis Animal Welfare in Fair Oak, before the council’s local plan to build thousands of homes east of Bishopstoke goes ahead, which would see houses built right up to the border of the rescue centre. The 62-year-old rescue centre cares for, rehabilitates and re-homes over 100 domestic animals who will no longer be cared for by their owners. Annette Lodge, the charity’s chair, said: “We don’t know what our future is… We fear we’ll be asked to move out but we were here first.”

 

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Important announcement: Parking arrangements for Botleigh Grange protest, this Friday 22 November

ADD UPDATE, 16 November 2019 – PLEASE READ: As many of you know, we are encouraging anyone who is opposed to Eastleigh’s Local Plan to attend a mass ‘presence’ at 8.30am this Friday, 22 November, in front of Botleigh Grange Hotel where the examination is taking place. This is aimed at Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC), not at the Planning Inspector who is required to determine the soundness of the plan and is completely impartial. The press and media will be present to record the opposition of local people and we will have photo-shoot at 8.30am prompt.

Thank you to everyone who has already indicated via our Facebook event or by email to [email protected] that you are coming. Your support is much appreciated. Please read on for an important announcement re car parking.

Car parking at the hotel is very limited so we are encouraging maximum car sharing but in addition special arrangements have been made as per below. Please follow this guidance carefully so that we can make our views known without causing undue disruption to others, including hotel guests.

  • Anyone who is coming primarily for the demonstration at 8.30am and cannot stay for long thereafter is asked to drive to the Ageas Bowl in Botley Road (SO30 3XH) and then take a shuttle bus from there to the Botleigh Grange Hotel. The buses will be provided by EBC and will collect people from the Ageas Bowl’s west car park, which is on the right off Marshall Drive (the main entrance road). The buses will travel to and from Botleigh Grange and the Ageas Bowl between 8.00am and 12 noon. Stewards will be on hand to give assistance where needed. The journey should take less than 10 minutes.
  • Parking at Botleigh Grange is very limited but those who wish to stay for more than a couple of hours after the demonstration to attend the Planning Inspector’s examination should drive to the hotel where there will be some parking available. Again, stewards will be there to direct people to the appropriate parking area. Please do not park without guidance as some areas of the business park around the hotel are subject to penalty fines for unauthorised parking.

After years of hard work, we are optimistic about a successful outcome to our campaign against Eastleigh’s ill-considered and deeply flawed plan. We are hugely grateful to our thousands of supporters and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at 8.30am next Friday, 22 November. Together we can win.

Thank you.

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Plea for support at Botleigh Grange Hotel as ADD fights Eastleigh’s Local Plan – 8.30am on 22 Nov – spread the word!

ADD UPDATE, 11 November 2019: After nearly four years of fighting Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC)’s Local Plan and the damage it would cause our area and quality of life, ADD will finally be making its case to the Planning Inspector later this month.

We hope that this will be the last time we will ask you to show your support – so please join our peaceful demonstration at 8.30am on Friday 22 November at Botleigh Grange Hotel and Spa (Grange Road, Hedge End, SO30 2GA), where the examination is being held. Let’s make sure the Planning Inspector understands the strength and depth of local feeling about this appallingly destructive scheme.

We have been told that EBC is working with the hotel to ensure there will be sufficient parking. We will provide full details once we have them. In the meantime, we encourage people to car share as far as possible.

You will be free to leave at just after 9.00am, although you would also be welcome to stay for the hearing itself.

To give us a sense of who is able to come, please either register here at our Facebook event or email [email protected] to let us know. Do also say if you will need a lift.

If you cannot make 8.30am but would like to come at another part of the day, the hearing finishes at 5.30pm. Whatever time you come, you will see many of the ADD team there.

And whether you can come or not, please spread the word! 

THANK YOU, ONCE AGAIN, FOR YOUR SUPPORT. WE COULDN’T SUCCEED WITHOUT YOU.

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Warnings from Cllr Jan Warwick over threat to Winchester district from 5,000 homes in Eastleigh district

Hampshire Chronicle: 11 November 2019: VILLAGES near Winchester will suffer from Eastleigh Borough Council’s plans for 5,000 homes, Conservative County Councillor Jan Warwick told a Local plan inspector. Eastleigh’s proposal for 5,000 homes on greenbelt land will lead to extra traffic and pollution in Otterbourne, Compton and Shawford. Cllr Warwick, who represents the Downlands division that covers the villages, said the authority’s Liberal Democrats had not listened to her residents, who would be impacted by the Local Plan to concrete over the boundary with Winchester City Council. She explained there was no evidence around the timing, mitigation, funding and delivery for the development’s proposed link road, or studies showing the impact on the existing road infrastructure. She also raised concerns about the proposals’ carbon footprint.

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Save St Francis Animal Sanctuary from Eastleigh’s Local Plan – please sign petition

ADD Update, 8 November 2019: A quick but important update – please take a few seconds to read! ADD is supporting St Francis Animal Sanctuary, based on Mortimers Lane in Fair Oak, in its efforts to persuade Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, that his Local Plan proposal for the development of housing in the adjacent to Mortimers Lane (the so-called Option C area) will have a devastating impact on the animal sanctuary. Eastleigh has not even responded to requests from St Francis to recognise the problems that will occur if Eastleigh’s ill-considered plan goes ahead, let alone help them find a solution. A planning inspector will start her public examination of Eastleigh’s Local Plan on 21 November, with hearings lasting for a period of six weeks.

To sign St Francis’s petition “to tell EBC and its leader they can’t ride roughshod over a charity, its staff and animals like this” (see details below), click here.

PETITION TO SAVE ST FRANCIS ANIMAL WELFARE

“We the undersigned demand that Eastleigh Borough Council and its leaders save St Francis Animal Welfare by consulting with them, allowing an agreed amount of sufficient open space around them and a belt of woodland to mitigate noise.

Eastleigh Borough Council’s Local Plan for development would surround us with houses and shops and push us and our animals out of our shelter. This happened to us with development around our old shelter in Horton Heath 40 years ago. Our manager felt unsafe in her home because of all the noise complaints and aggression. Development up to our borders in the EBC plan will make our lives impossible like before.

Eastleigh Borough Council and its leaders have ignored this and all the concerns that we’ve put to them.

We need the plan to have lots of open space around us to walk our dogs, and for the sake of people in any new development. We also need a belt of woodland to mitigate the noise our animals make.

Please sign and share our petition to tell EBC & its leader they can’t ride roughshod over a charity, its staff & animals like this. We’re one of Hampshire’s oldest animal charities who help animals from all over Hampshire and beyond.

Save St Francis Animal Welfare!

For more information on the work that we do at St Francis Animal Welfare, please visit our website.”

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