Thursday, 4 August 2011

More Green Fields Threatened in U-Turn by Secretive Lib Dems

Massive new development on green fields between Tollbar Way and Bubb Lane is being considered since local  Lib Dems voted to accept Eastleigh Borough Council's Strategic Land Availability Assessment in July.
Only four years ago, the Lib Dems said that the strategic gap between Hedge End and West End was so vital that they turned down the Wessex Vale Crematorium at Bubb Lane (it went on to be built because their decision was overturned on appeal).  Now they are willing to consider a massive expansion of the Berrywood Business Village and up to 700 houses on the countryside in the very same strategic gap.  And this would be in addition to the one thousand houses already planned for Woodhouse Lane.
All this is already in the public domain - Eastleigh have published all the threatened sites on their web site  and drawn attention to them in their  "Help shape the future of your borough Have your say!" leaflet.
Hedge End Blogger is bursting to tell you the latest thinking on how the Local Development Framework will affect Hedge End, but the Lib Dem leadership decreed that Wednesday's briefing for town councillors be held in secret as "exempt business".  Members of the public and press were excluded from the meeting and no minutes or report will be published.  As an independent member of Hedge End Town Council, I cannot abuse my privilege of attending the briefing, so I am in effect being censored by the party that claims to "involve people in decisions". 
If I understand Cllr House's diktat correctly we will be allowed to talk and blog about the content of this week's meeting once specific options have been presented to Eastleigh Borough Council (ie after the decision has effectively been made).

A few local Lib Dem stalwarts did turn up for the meeting.  Cllr Cynthia Garton, Cllr Margaret Allingham, Cllr Helen Corben, Cllr June Watson, Cllr Peter Hughes and Cllr Ray Worley were all there and asked some pertinent questions and made some telling points about local infrastructure and services being swamped by more housing.  
I don't want to criticise individual councillors because it is the start of the holiday season and anybody can have a reason for missing a particular meeting, but six out of twenty is a very small turnout.
It's doubly strange because in July all the Lib Dems voted to postpone discussion by the Town Council of the Borough's housing plans until after they had had the chance to hear this briefing, but then fourteen of them didn't even turn up to hear it.  
In May the Lib Dems said they would  "stand up against building and even more traffic in our area".  I just wonder when they are going to start.
The threatened fields are labelled HE2,HE3 and HE4 on the Council's map.


  1. What you describe here is a thoroughly disgraceful situation, but what can one do...?

  2. Traditionally we have the ballot box.