Monday, 15 August 2011

Hedge End Bursting its Boundaries

Beautiful countryside between Hedge End and Botley is threatened by the Lib Dems housing plans.

Eastleigh Council's map of "small greenfield sites" in Hedge End shows a number of locations to the east of Hedge End in the local gap between Hedge End and Botley (labelled HE6 to HE11) which have been designated possible development targets.

Although the Lib Dems voted in July to accept these as Hedge End locations, they are technically the other side of the administrative border between Hedge End and Botley parish.  Presumably the Council planners know where the boundary is, so why did they not categorise them as Botley locations?

The same thing has happened on the other side of Hedge End where green fields to the north and west of Hedge End which are technically in West End are in the Hedge End allocation.  (See previous blog entries here and here.)

And to the south, a number of green fields in the Bursledon parish area are counted as Hedge End sites.  

In fact, if I have done the calculations correctly, only thirteen of the 31 identified Hedge End sites are actually inside the  Hedge End administrative boundary, and only 34% (3799 out of  11185) of the potential housing slots assessed are formally in Hedge End.

In real life the administrative boundaries between parishes are a fairly insignificant planning technicality.   So why has the Council misled people in this way?  

One possibility is that by exaggerating how many green fields there are in Hedge End it makes it look as if we can "afford" to accept a thousand houses at Woodhouse Lane because there is still plenty of green space left. 

But the fact is that under the developer-friendly Lib Dems the settlement of Hedge End has already expanded up to, and in some cases over, its administrative borders with neighbouring parishes and the Woodhouse Lane location is the last area of countryside inside Hedge End's borders.

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