Tuesday, 24 September 2013

New Lib Dem Attack on Green Fields

Local protesters opposed Lib Dem "huge housing plans"
Eastleigh Lib Dems' first attempt at drafting a new local plan in 2012 ended in embarrassment. It is not clear if the Lib Dems were incompetent and did not check that land at Woodhouse Lane owned by the County Council would be available for housing. It may be that Hampshire Conservatives wanted to play political games and changed their mind about whether to release the land, as the Lib Dems claimed at last week's Town Council meeting.

Whatever the reason, the Lib Dems were left with a plan that was short of nearly 2000 houses according to their own calculations of how many houses will be needed in Eastleigh by 2029. And they are having to go through the local plan process a second time, with a new version of the plan due to be published for consultation soon.

The last consultation was incomplete and inadequate as some Hedge End residents pointed out. Others discovered too late that the Lib Dems had decided to put a site for travelling show people at the bottom of their gardens. The Lib Dems then shut down my attempts to have an alternative proposal debated at Town Council.

So where are the Lib Dems planning to put the houses this time? Cabinet has six options to decide from at its special meeting on Thursday (26 September).

Option A is the area of open land between the Windhover roundabout and the boundary with Southampton, much of which is currently used for car boot sales, and is of little value in terms of biodiversity, landscape or heritage.

Option B would extend Horton Heath into green fields to the south and west. The additional traffic generated by nearly 2000 houses would come through Hedge End to get to the motorway, and it would put the fields between Horton Heath and Boorley Green at risk of infill development.

Option C would extend the already planned massive develpoment at Boorley Green west into green fields to the north of the railway at Hedge End.

Option D spreads the required housing across four sites: one would extend the Boorley Green development into green fields to the south, the second would use some of the land in Option B, with the rest to the south of Bishopstoke and to the north of Fair Oak.

Option E would distribute the new houses across three sites; to the north of Fair Oak, south and west of Horton Heath and, based on the assumption that the County Council will change their mind, 800 houses on the green fields at Woodhouse Lane.

Option F shuffles some of the same cards to share the development between Boorley Green, Fair Oak and Horton Heath. 

What could embarrass the Lib Dems even more is that some of these sites are in the area to the north of Hedge End that they were claiming to have "saved" from development as recently as July this year.


  1. Hang on! I keep reading in the LibDem 'Focus' (or the 'Monthly Rupert' as we fondly call it, after its much-photographed main character) that the LibDems are 'saving our green fields' and opposed to in-fill between the villages.

    Surely they're not telling porky-pies . . .

  2. It's obvious that the people of Eastleigh want nothing more than dense urban sprawl from Hamble to Winchester. After all the sheep keep voting for this to my dismay.

  3. What I dont get is why this is so under-hand - its so low key, but the impact on the community is huge. Our roads, schools etc cannot cope at the moment - god knows what it will be like after all these houses are built. And it sounds like the decision has been made without all the facts!

    The Lib--dems proving again that politicians cannot be trusted

  4. Noticed that the latest Fair Oak and Horton Heath "FOCUS" (aka emergency toilet paper) is hailing the resolution of a long standing traffic problem in burnetts lane by the construction of a new road...fails to mention the hundreds of houses that are being built there too! They seriously must think we are stupid!! (no mention of saving greenfields anymore though).