Friday, 27 January 2012

Green Field or Car Park?

Threatened green space
The fate of one of Hedge End's fast disappearing green spaces will be decided on Monday when the Lib Dem Local Area Committee of Eastleigh Borough Council have to decide whether to push ahead with unpopular plans to extend the (rarely full) station car park.

A survey of nearby residents in June last year revealed overwhelming opposition to the plan.  The Lib Dems clearly did not like this result as they commissioned another consultation in September, this time asking people living even further away what they thought.  Even this exercise revealed a large majority against more concrete and tarmac.

In the face of local opposition and with the burden of a "Save Our Countryside" election promise last May, our councillors have a difficult decision.  The report to be presented recommends going ahead with the plan despite acknowledging that average occupancy of the existing parking spaces is only 70-75% and that even a £3 parking charge (which would be retained to pay for the extension) diverts commuter parking into nearby residential roads, for which there is evidence in my July blog post - here.

Other agenda items of interest to Hedge End are:

Allocation of funds totalling £11,000 to various youth and community organisations

Financial support for Community Speedwatch (Upper Northam Road, Turnpike Way, Botley Road and Kings Copse Ave are mentioned as early candidates)

Investment of £23,000 in library equipment to help Conservative Hampshire County Council cut back on paid staff in Hedge End library  (See earlier blog post - here).

The meeting starts at 7:00pm in the 2000 Centre and is open to the public.  The full agenda is on the Council web site - here.


  1. Is this an example of what the Coalition Government call...."Localism" where the people decide what they want?

  2. I feel that if we are stuck with the development in Woodhouse Lane and Boorley Green, and elsewhere locally, we're going to have to sacrifice that field for extra parking...

    Every new development has knock-on consequences...

  3. As a nearby resident to the Station, I would agree with the above comments if the car park was actually fully used. As accurately reported by HEB, the car park is NEVER full, with 25% pluse spaces available daily. The knock-on effect is that nearby residents have to suffer inconsiderate commuter parking often causing obstruction, sometimes of the driveways and some times sight lines. The only way that commuters will consistently use this facilities is to make it free parking as it used to be. When it was free, it was used to its full capacity and local, tax paying residents were not constantly inconvenienced.

    I know that Councils now take all the profit from car parking but as Eastleigh persistently prides itself on its green creditials, they should forego the revenue stream and actively support public transport users who are already penalised with the recent, above inflation rail fares rises.

  4. John, I'm sure we would both agree that Eric Pickles' lip-service to localism is all smoke and mirrors.

    Ray, most of the strategic development areas are as close to Botley station as they are to Hedge End, but I don't see any analysis as to which station is the more appropriate for expansion. Partly because Botley station lies outside the boundaries of Eastleigh BC, and it would be too much to expect Eastleigh to talk to Winchester about this.

    Jenny, I share your sympathy for commuters who are being charged an arm and a leg for a below standard service.

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