Welcome to Eastleigh News

You can change this text in the options panel in the admin

Eastleigh's only independent online news site

Member Login
Lost your password?
Not a member yet? Sign Up!

Boorley Green gets Outline Planning Permission

February 19, 2013
By

New NEXT store approved too...!

The marathon HEWEB meeting is about to get underway...

The marathon HEWEB meeting is about to get underway…

In a special meeting of the Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee, the controversial development of 1400 new houses at Boorley Green was granted Outline Planning Permission, subject to a few conditions, this evening, 18th February.

The meeting was held in the main hall of the Kings Community Church, a much larger facility than is customary for HEWEB, because a large audience was expected. The Borough Councillors and the Officers present were not disappointed, with several hundred residents packed into the auditorium.

Cllr Rupert Kyrle was in the chair this evening and he opened the meeting firmly, with an appeal for the public to be respectful and to let the various speakers and the Council members have their say without any interruption.

Cllr Kyrle also explained that although the Councils “standing procedures” limited the time for members of the public to speak at the meeting, he intended to use Chairmans discretion to override that. He then listed how long each of the speakers would be given, further explaining that those speaking for and those speaking  against the application would, in total, be allowed exactly the same time if they chose to use it. In the event, Cllr Kyrle exercised his discretion further and didn’t hold the speakers too tightly to their allocated time.

Before getting to the main business of the evening, HEWEB considered and approved an application to develop a new retail unit in Charles Watts Way, on the former Wildern Mill site. Besides the new store, which is to be occupied by NEXT, the development will also include 41 new homes and much improved access for pedestrians and cycles connecting with the Hedge End Village Centre.

Previous applications for the Wildern Mill site have included blocks of flats extending to 13 storeys, subsequently reduced to 7 storeys.  The Council previously rejected all of those applications, but unanimously supported this latest application for the Wildern Mill site. Planning permission was granted for a period of two years, to ensure early delivery of this scheme plus the jobs and the new housing  that it promises.

The more contentious business of the evening, was the development at Boorley Green. A lengthy presentation by Council Officials explained what is proposed for the site and the related developments at the Maypole Roundabout and the Sundays Hill Bypass. Their presentation also highlighted that the main problem for Eastleigh Borough Council is that it has a shortfall in its 5 year housing land supply.

The application was said to feature lower density housing on the edges of the site with higher density housing in the centre, but there would be nothing over 3 storeys high.

Also said to be included in the development are a new pub, a primary school, some allotments, a community orchard and sports pitches.

The total provision for open space, at over 30 Hectares,  was said to be nearly three times the minimum area proposed in the emerging local plan.

Proposals to cater for the additional sewerage were said to include a storage tank and overnight pumping via a new pipeline to the nearest suitable location, which is 10km away.

Besides infrastructure improvements to the Maypole Roundabout and development of the Sundays Hill Bypass, plans to reduce the impact of traffic were said to include promoting a reduction in car usage and increased use of cycling, a comment that provoked howls of derision from the audience…

The opponents of the scheme, and there were many, then had their chance to argue the case against the development.

First-up was the Botley Parish Action Group. Their presentation was competently delivered, drew numerous rounds of applause and a standing ovation at the end.

Several “P” words, premature, predetermination, prejudicial and politically- motivated (which drew the largest round of applause!) were to prove a recurring theme amongst subsequent speakers.

One of the strongest and much repeated arguments against the application, was that granting Outline Planning Permission now, whilst the local plan was still in the development phase and some way from being formally adopted, was premature, would predetermine the local plan and would prejudice any subsequent  inspection or reviews. It was also argued that if the application is granted, there would be a legal challenge and it is “very likely to succeed”…

Interviews from Botley Parish Action Day February 2

Another line of attack was that even if  Outline Planning Permission was granted, the development would have very little impact on the Council’s ability to deliver new homes within a five-year period.

 

The neighbouring villagers of Durley and Curdridge, supported by their MP, George Hollingberry, the MP for Meon Valley, argued that the impact of the additional traffic on their rural lanes and villages had not been properly taken into account.

They collectively argued that whilst the effect of additional traffic within the Borough of Eastleigh had been considered, the impact across the boundary with Winchester City Council had been completely ignored. Cllr Kyrle was later to say, in his summing-up, that he thought that particular argument was a bit of a cheek, as it worked the other way too. Developments at North Whiteley, within the boundaries of Winchester City Council were going to push extra traffic through Botley, but that fact had been ignored…

One objector warned of the risk of flash flooding if the development proceeds, suggested that Jacksons Farm would be a better alternative and observed that Eastleigh Borough Council have invested millions in a Hotel and Golf Course at the Ageas Bowl, but are now proposing to destroy a Golf course and Hotel in Boorley Green….

Another highlighted that the existing sewerage arrangements are inadequate, running through back gardens in the existing houses at Boorley Green and already having a tendency to overflow.

An alternative solution was proposed by one objector. Build a new Junction on the Motorway, Junction 6 to open up a new route into the northern edge of the M27 and be the gateway to the Itchen Valley. It would also better serve the Chalcroft Distribution Park, which currently forces HGV’s to use rural roads…

Dr Colin Mercer, Chairman of Botley Parish Council, was blunt, setting the tone when reminded that he’d been allowed 15 minutes, by saying;

“I’m going to take the time that I need”

He went on to say that it was the most severe challenge to Botley that he had known. He explained that what was shown on the plan to be a pipeline was actually six pipelines located just 0.9m below the surface, rendering a 100m stretch of land that had been earmarked for phase 1 of the development unusable. He further observed that the perceived benefits would only be a benefit if the new houses are there. Don’t build the houses and the benefits aren’t needed…

Dr Mercer strongly urged the Borough Council to think first and listen with care. He also observed that he’d had more success with Winchester City Council, whose plans had been to an independent review, but he found Eastleigh Borough Council, by contrast, to be undemocratic. All he could do here was make a statement. He was not allowed to join in the debate. It was “galling” that Botley was being treated so badly.

Dr Mercer concluded that the local plan would be jeopardised if the application proceeds, but stressed that Botley would work with the Borough if the application was rejected.

He closed by observing that on the assumption that the Botley Councillors would vote against the development, only five more needed to vote against the party line to save Botley. He then suggested that the chairman (and colleague on Botley Parish Council), Cllr Rupert Kyrle, acting in his capacity as Mayor of Eastleigh, should propose a motion to the effect that the application be dropped. Cllr Kyrle looked horrified and said nothing…

The Developers naturally spoke in favour of the proposed development, highlighting that even the tiniest of hamlets was a once new development. Explaining that there would be an interface between the existing houses of Boorley Green and the new development, i.e no new houses would adjoin the old ones, the spokesman likened the development to a “Garden City”…

A spokesperson for First Wessex also spoke in favour of the development, on behalf of those who need homes in Eastleigh. That drew some heckling from the audience, who not very tactfully suggested that the homes should be built in Eastleigh…

With the arguments for and against well and truly aired, there was a short adjournment, prior to the members debate, which resumed at 11pm.

Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Keith House, opened the members debate, re-iterating the problem with the 5-year housing supply and further explaining that if the Council decided to reject Outline Planning Permission, subsequent appeals and inspections would most likely mean that the development was imposed on the Council. The Council would have much less influence over its design.

Cllr House was careful to explain that he didn’t regard the objectors as NIMBY’s. Just people with an honest concern and agreed that traffic leaking out of the development to Curdridge and Durley was an issue.

However, this discussion was about Boorley Green, not Allington Lane and although he acknowledged that some planners preferred the Allington Lane option, the alternative solution that had been put forward by the objectors could not be considered in this meeting. He later added that the Highways Agency had completely ruled out the possibility of developing a new Motorway Junction.

Cllr House also said that the Jacksons Farm alternative was an option that the Council was reluctant to pursue, because it would open the way to other housing developments that would be even worse for Boorley Green.

The audience, by now, had sensed the way the decision was going and there was a lot more heckling.

Cllr Peter Hughes battled through that, explaining that lots of smaller developments wouldn’t raise enough in developer contributions to pay for infrastructure like the Sundays Hill bypass.

 

Cllr Cathie Fraser, also a Botley Parish Councillor, supported the view that it was much better that the local Council decide the shape of the housing developments in the area, but described the situation as a cataclysmic dilemma. She expressed great concern over the sewerage arrangements and proposed an extra condition, to the effect that this should be resolved much earlier than is currently proposed, right at the outset of the development. Cllr Fraser was the first Councillor to take a tough line with the hecklers, threatening at one stage to ask the chair for an adjournment.

Cllr Dan Clarke was the first to speak about representing the whole community and the difficulty that young people face in getting onto the housing ladder. He was also the first to speak about “people who are not in the room”, referring to individual people and families who are in need of better housing but have not organised themselves into an effective campaign group. By now, with Dan being equally tough with the hecklers and concluding that “prevarication is not acceptable”, the audience was starting to drift away.

Botley residents protest march February 2 

Cllr David Goodall further antagonised the audience by referring to them as “you lot” on at least two occasions, but dug in and proceeded to find a way of demolishing many of the arguments that had been put forward by the objectors, no matter how tenuous. Bizarrely he claimed there was a baby boom and explained how when couples move into a house they tend to have babies, so they need a bigger house, then the children grow up and want a house and how the Council has a duty to plan for that. One wag in the audience was heard to observe “So we need family planning”…

One of the good features of the development, Cllr Goodall observed, before finally saying that it was a viable solution and that he supported it, is that we have three times the minimum amount of open space.

Cllr Derek Pretty continued the theme, explaining that the Borough must make provision for new housing, 9,500 new homes are needed across the Borough and 50% are to be on brownfield sites, but that would have to be increased to unacceptably high levels of housing density if greenfield sites could not be brought forward.  Sharing the concern about sewerage, and acknowledging that he was going to be heckled, Cllr Pretty concluded that he had no other option but to support the development.

Cllr Louise Bloom subsequently elaborated on the “people who are not in the room”, explaining that they were people who needed housing and either didn’t or couldn’t speak up for themselves in the same way that the people in the audience had effectively organised themselves into a campaign group.

Cllr Tennant explained that one such person had intended to speak in favour of more housing, but had been put off from doing so because of the hostile public gallery.

Cllr Welsh said that the biggest problem was that nobody wants change, and explained how in her 50 years in Hedge End she’s seen massive change. Hearing Cllr Welsh suggest that it was now Botley’s turn was too much for some, which triggered a substantial departure from the auditorium and much anger was vented on the way out.

The focus of the debate now returned to the chairman, Cllr Rupert Kyrle, who said that he found it all very difficult. It was a plain fact that significant additional housing is needed, but there was great difficulty with highways and developments outside of the area were also affecting J7 and J8 of the M27.

Cleverly adapting the other Councillors argument, about people not in the room, Cllr Kyrle said he was happy to wave a flag for bats, for all feathered and fluffy things that don’t have a voice either. To the only round of applause of the members debate, Cllr Kyrle thus publicly concluded that he couldn’t support the development.

Subsequent extra discussion of the Highways issue clearly only served to further infuriate Cllr Kyrle. Hampshire County Council’s suggestion of a short ‘turn right’ lane on Mill Hill, for vehicles turning right into Winchester Street, drew a terse “So which listed buildings do they want us to knock down?” rebuff.

Kyrle’s frustration was obvious, but he somehow managed to retain a dignified position commensurate with his role of chairman, and Mayor…

The motion to grant Outline Planning Permission was subsequently carried by a margin of 10 to 1, with two abstentions. The meeting closed at 00:30am.

Speaking to Eastleigh News, after the meeting, Cllr House said;

It was a long evening. It was always going to be a difficult set of decisions, but we have to take responsible decisions on behalf of the community and sometimes those are difficult. We heard during the debate from a lot of passionate people who are concerned about the community they live in, or play golf, but we also heard as the debate went on from more and more of the issues about all of the people who weren’t in the room, all the people who have housing problems, all the children and grandchildren of us that we know are going to struggle to get on the housing ladder.  And those are some of the voices we wanted to make sure we responded to as well as make sure we preserve the key gaps between all our communities. This is the only strategy that will preserve the gaps between Eastleigh’s Towns and Villages in future.

Asked about the Councillors enthusiasm for a plan that gives three times as much open space as the minimum requirement, Cllr House responded;

The applicant has worked really hard on this and its actually a very low density development. A lot of green space, playing fields and park-type space, allotments and orchard. Lots of things that are going to be of benefit to the wider community in Boorley Green and across Botley for the future. Lets also not forget that  there’s going to be a school and school playing fields there, which means that for the first time ever, Boorley Green children will be able to walk to school in Boorley Green.

When asked if that ratio was now fixed, whether the Council could retain that ratio of open space when the detailed plans are submitted, Cllr House replied;

Well its now absolutely fixed because that’s the outline planning permission that we’re going to issue. The developer can’t change that now. The developer has to submit detailed applications for each parcel of land over probably the next four to five years, which are in accordance with that outline planning permission.

In a statement issued after the meeting, The MP for Meon Valley, George Hollingbery said;

“The Lib Dems are facing both ways on green space. Their campaign has consistently pledged to protect our beautiful countryside. But at the meeting the Lib Dem Council showed that they have no intention of backing down on their plans to build on Greenfield sites.”

“The Lib Dems have voted through plans to build 1,400 houses on green spaces in Boorley Green. This is part of the Lib Dem Council’s wider plan for development, which would see 5,000 new houses on green spaces. Local people will now know that the Lib Dems’ campaign pledge to protect green spaces in Eastleigh is not worth the paper it is written on.”

“The Lib Dem-run Eastleigh Council needs to stop blaming others and start taking responsibility for the decision it takes as the local planning authority. This is after all what the councillors are elected to do.”

Botley Parish Council now have to decide what to do next. An extraordinary meeting of Botley Parrish Council has been arranged for 7:45pm  February 19, in the Diamond Jubilee Hall at the Botley Centre.

16 Responses to Boorley Green gets Outline Planning Permission

  1. Stuart Jebbitt on February 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

    What’s the betting that if you simply had a policy of priortising affordable housing on brownfield sites as they become available, you’d not be too far off target. However the process would take a lot more work and be far less profitable for developers.
    The fords site would potentially provide a lot of the housing if it can’t continue as a commercial site – why don’t EBC talk to Southampton?

  2. Stuart Jebbitt on February 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I’m amazed how EBC think they can hoodwink us by the wringing of hands and cynical use of people on the housing lists as an excuse to justify this profit driven and profit motivated venture.
    Only a small percentage will be allocated for affordable housing for locals (and the developers will try to drive this down to a min %)
    There are already plenty of houses available in Eastleigh for those who can afford one – just visit one of the many estate agents with windows full of them.
    If the concerns were genuine, they would be prioritising brownfield sites for AFFORDABLE housing as they come up, to reduce those housing lists.

  3. Eastleigh Xpress on February 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Thanks Ray for a fantastic report and ‘hats off’ to everyone who stuck it out to the end. I’ve added a couple of videos from the action day.

  4. Matthew Myatt on February 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    At the end of the day the people of Botley voted for these councillors. Whilst I share their anger and concerns I can not help but feel that they have been rewarded by their own stupidity.

    They now have a chance to send a clear message to Mr Mouse and his Fib Dem Muppets in the by-election and after looking around at all the other parties on offer I am afraid that there is only one candidate that has stood by and up for Botley and its people over the last few years.

    It pains me to say it but you know she will give the Lib Dems hell and give us all a strong local voice.!

    • David Knowles on February 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      You are so right Matthew.I think some fault lies with the Conservatives.They need to take the fight to the Fib Dems.I would love to know how the Fib Dems manage to print so much material through the year and most of it in colour.This costs alot of money.Where does this come from?I think the conservatives need to work harder in some areas.Some parts of the Eastleigh Constituency are never covered by the party.
      Let’s hope,pray even that the people this time round realise what con artists Mr Mouse(I love that)and his cronies are!

      • Matthew Myatt on February 20, 2013 at 2:08 am

        The Cloacl Fib Dem council is funded privatly by a fellow Fib Dem councillor. This councillor has injected £1000’s of pounds of her own private money into the local party. This councillor is the second highest ranking councillor on EBC and does not like to be challanged on her views or her support for the local party. She can be heard in this video being rather rude to me. Can you guess who.?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl56i5LI7MY&feature=share&list=UUukRyzI55hUUEvXlTHe79Cw

        • David Knowles on February 20, 2013 at 10:45 am

          You can tell watching this video Matthew that the Fib Dems have all been ordered by MR Mouse to say nothing.You can see how some of them really struggle to say no comment.These are public servants and damned well should have to say what they personally feel about an issue like this.Compare their attitude with the Conservative members!

  5. rigel on February 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I was there last night , yawn, I think the opposition very effectively exposed the plan as premature and incorrectly sited, but BPAG shot themselves in the foot by not combating the myth of ‘Housing need’;

    according to the Lib Dems there is a ‘housing crisis’ and ‘sofa surfing’ is a cataclysm – there are plenty of houses on the market the issue is that people can’t afford them.

    building 1400 houses on a golf course in pretty countryside is not a solution to ‘homelessness’ it is an economic strategy. It is the council’s income… through , new homes bonus , Community inf levy, planning fees, building reg fees , 106 contributions and council tax. They are cashing in on the resource of land in SE England and inch by inch they are ruining it .

    Its like finding a thirsty man and saying quick get some hydrogen and oxygen and combine them,, instead of taking him to water.

    according to one Councillor house prices have remained high through this depression because of high demand , it’s the .5% interest rates mate (like he don’t know that)

    Cllr Walsh said that the Botley residents just don’t want change but I disagree , it is the Lib dem council that don’t want change they have built and built and built using the argument of housing need for 20 years and the ‘problem’ has just got worse, They cannot cope with the appropriate changes required to help the people on the housing list – firstly better paying jobs- they need to change their behavior and we need to force them into a debate on this issue.

    For example :

    At the beginning of the meeting they proudly talked of rejecting a proposal for a 13 story block of flats some years ago on the wildern mill site- thats a lot of cheap and efficient housing !, might not be the perfect site but why is a tower block ruled out because it might disrupt the character of hedge end, in favour of building continual ‘traditional’ housing sites that look like dehydrated brooksides – it is they who cannot change !

    and it’s because they are addicts , housing development addicts, who cannot give up that income stream, and addicts come up with ridiculous excuses and they convince even themselves that it makes sense.

    Shame all but cllr kyrle

  6. John Edwards on February 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    The Conservative localism bill clearly demonstrates here, that local people are to be rode roughshod and their views and objections to be clearly denied.

    Despite the crocodile tears shed by the local Conservatives, the £3.3 million donated by developers and construction companies at the last general election is clearly paying dividends. You’ll find out just how much in a few years time when directorships are handed out to their political supporters.

    The English Democrats are clear on development, that should not occur in rural areas such as Boorley Green. Protecting our green spaces and putting people before builders profits means saying no. At a time when there are over 800,000 homes laying empty across the nation, isn’t it time to start applying common sense?

    The case for saying no to developments such as those at Boorley Green, now is not an option thanks to the coalition government policy. Is this what you voted?

  7. Tim Barker on February 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Was at the meeting last night and whilst I appreciate it was a difficult decision I was shocked at the lack of real debate.

    The audience were simply granted condescending views as to why they were wrong.(Cllrs House and Bloom in particular). But then we know they know best, they told us so.

    A simple yes or no, with key reason for that decision would have served the purpose as clearly minds were made up in advance.

    Moreover, and it was a difficult environment, there was little professionalism or courtesy shown by councillors. The chair just about held it and in fairness the planning officer did her job well to explain the facts.

    You mention Cllr Clarke not giving in but in fairness whilst he said he listened to the presentations he in fact spent most of the anti presentations sniggering and chatting to Goodhall and Bloom next to him. Unprofessional and rather juvenile I am afraid.

    Cllr Pretty had the good grace to call it as he saw it and I for one appreciated that honesty.

    Oh yes, you mention Goodhall – very bizarre indeed. I think he needs to work on his metaphors as well as his politeness.

    Understood Cllr Welsh point about no-one liking change which is fair but the follow up of ‘you lot are alright living in your nice little homes with nice little gardens’ was simply uncalled for from someone in her position.

    With that put down and having to get up for early train to London I left. I felt the overall response by councillors needlessly caustic, too defensive and much like they had something to hide maybe ?

  8. rigel on February 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I was there last night , yawn, I think the opposition very effectively exposed the plan as premature and incorrectly sited, but BPAG shot themselves in the foot by not combating the myth of ‘Housing need’;

    according to the Lib Dems there is a ‘housing crisis’ and ‘sofa surfing’ is a cataclysm – there are plenty of houses on the market the issue is that people can’t afford them.

    building 1400 houses on a golf course in pretty countryside is not a solution to ‘homelessness’ it is an economic strategy. It is the council’s income… through , new homes bonus , Community inf levy, planning fees, building reg fees , 106 contributions and council tax. They are cashing in on the resource of land in SE England and inch by inch they are ruining it .

    Its like finding a thirsty man and saying quick get some hydrogen and oxygen and combine them,, instead of taking him to water.

    according to one Councillor house prices have remained high through this depression because of high demand , it’s the .5% interest rates mate (like he don’t know that)

  9. rigel on February 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    pt 2
    Cllr Welsh said that the Botley residents just don’t want change but I disagree , it is the Lib dem council that don’t want change they have built and built and built using the argument of housing need for 20 years and the ‘problem’ has just got worse, They cannot cope with the appropriate changes required to help the people on the housing list – firstly better paying jobs- they need to change their behavior and we need to force them into a debate on this issue.

    For example :

    At the beginning of the meeting they proudly talked of rejecting a proposal for a 13 story block of flats some years ago on the wildern mill site- thats a lot of cheap and efficient housing !, might not be the perfect site but why is a tower block ruled out because it might disrupt the character of hedge end, in favour of building continual ‘traditional’ housing sites that look like dehydrated brooksides – it is they who cannot change !

    and it’s because they are addicts , housing development addicts, who cannot give up that income stream, and addicts come up with ridiculous excuses and they convince even themselves that it makes sense.

    Shame all but cllr kyrle

  10. rigel on February 20, 2013 at 8:19 am

    why have my comments not appeared ?

  11. Ray Turner on February 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Its true. At the end of this HEWEB meeting, when I was trying to guage how some of the Councillors felt about the experience of being involved in that meeting I got a few polite words then the “Oh, I shouldn’t be talking to you” line.

    There’s no secret that they’ve been instructed not to talk to Eastleigh News, which is a shame.

    Particularly as the two Councillors that I was explicitly trying to speak to are, in theory, my elected representatives…

    But I know them well enough to know that they would speak to me if permitted to do so. I appreciate their difficulty.

    Countering that, Dan Clarke popped over before the meeting to say hello and ask how my job-hunting was going. Derek Pretty also popped over to say hello and have a social chat, getting out of his seat and walking across the auditorium to do so. I genuinely appreciated both of those gestures.

  12. maureen on February 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Surely their first duty is to their electors? Isn’t that written down somewhere officially?

  13. Alan Harris on February 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Lib Dem’s LYING HERE – no moral substance – I just hope that the voters realise this!!

Search Eastleigh News

Subscribe to Eastleigh News

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Eastleigh News Archive



Eastleigh General Election 2017