Countryside at Woodhouse Lane is a “preferred location” for large scale green field development according to local Lib Dems. Just two months after campaigning on a “Save our Countryside” platform and talking of how the Lib Dems “stand up against more building and even more traffic”, local Lib Dems have betrayed their voters by opening the doors to massive new developments in and around Hedge End.
They are claiming that one thousand new houses could be built on the fields opposite Hilliers Garden Centre, but documents rubber-stamped by the Lib Dems at Thursday’s full council meeting threaten up to 2320 dwellings on what is one of the few significant stretches of countryside left inside Hedge End’s boundaries.
They are also looking at fields north east of Boorley Green (nominally 1400 but again with potential for up to 2840 dwellings according to the detailed documents) or Allington Lane (up to 5000 houses) as another possible location.
If the Boorley Green development goes ahead combined with Woodhouse Lane, the amount of traffic trying to get to the M27 along Woodhouse Lane, across the Maypole roundabout and along Kings Copse Avenue does not bear thinking about.
But it gets worse. A thousand more houses will be built on smaller green field sites still to be chosen. The Council have a list of fifteen green field locations in and around Hedge End that they consider suitable for development. There is no guarantee that these will be safe from housing.
Just a year after the Lib Dems took credit for tearing up plans for a small town of 6000 houses to the north of Hedge End, they are planning for huge new developments of their own on our doorsteps.
I expect they will come up with their usual platitudes of “having to plan responsibly”, “we are not NIMBYs” and “wanting our children and grand children to be able to live locally”, but the question remains, why target Hedge End, West End and Botley for the majority of Eastleigh Borough’s housing needs? If the requirement was spread evenly and equitably throughout the Borough, allowing organic growth of our existing communities, Hedge End could expect 300-400 houses on its green field sites, not the thousands threatened by the Lib Dems.