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Borough to re-start Local Plan process

December 19, 2014
By

Councillors scathing about planning inspectorate and MP to raise questions in Parliament...

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Councillors and members of the public are directed to the meeting at the Kings Community Church in Hedge End.

It was business as usual at Eastleigh Borough Council this evening, the first Full Council meeting following the recent revelations in the national media.

Now touring different venues around the Borough as there is no Council Chamber in the new offices at Eastleigh House, the December Full Council meeting was held in the Kings Community Church in Hedge End.

Although Police were in evidence prior to the meeting, which was a little unusual, there was no kind of protest or any attempt to disrupt the proceedings from the dozen members of the public who were in the public gallery. Well not on this issue at least. An improvised digeridoo was heard at one crucial moment, and brought a swift rebuke from the Mayor in the chair…

Cllr Bloom was not in attendance again, but had formally sent her apologies. Although Cllr House was offered the opportunity to comment on the ‘love-triangle’ story, after the meeting, he politely declined to do so insisting;

“I’m interested in talking about ‘news’…”

The much more important news from this Full Council meeting, which Cllr House was very happy to talk about, was that the Borough Council have agreed to re-start the process of developing the local plan, after the Planning Inspector refused to accept the version that was submitted to him earlier this year.

Cllr House in his address to the Full Council, had some scathing remarks about the Planning Inspector and the planning system, which the Councillors on both sides of the political spectrum supported.

The current situation is that the Planning Inspector has postponed the examination of Eastleigh’s local plan on the basis that even more housing is required in the Borough of Eastleigh.

Cllr House explained to the Councillors and members of the public who were present, that;

“Our plan has been in progress for several years and has been taken out to consultation across the Borough on four occasions now.”

“It finally reached clearance with a Planning Inspector appointed by the Government last month.”

“The plan was based on assessed housing needs and sought to meet the wide-ranging needs for our Borough through to 2029. ”

“One of the difficulties with England’s centralised planning system, is that ultimate power is not with democratically elected bodies, but with a single figure appointed by a Government Quango.”

“A Councillor said to me yesterday, does that make the inspector God…? Well frankly, the answer is yes. ”

“An Inspector is allowed to be subjective.  Accountability, in theory, rests with the Secretary of State, but in reality it rests on the whim of individuals of the inspectorate”

“The inspectors first whim was deciding that rather than using the strategic housing market data that went out to consultation, he would instead use the housing market data that was published just months ago and has yet to be properly broken down by district. We’ll not even start a strategy for South Hampshire, for the period from 2026, until next summer at the earliest.”

“The inspector decided that this new untested figure could detect market signals, which suggest we should we should inflate that housing market figure by a further 10%.”

“There’s no signs behind the figure, as the inspector indicated himself. It consists largely of  responding to demands from house-builders and developers. ”

“The inspectors next whim was to invent planning policy on affordable housing policy on the hoof. ”

“We’ve long pushed harder than most councils to deliver affordable housing. Local plans assess the need for affordable housing and see it delivered in a variety of ways. That’s been the approach adopted across the country for years, including by our planning inspector, yet our planning inspector has decided on the hoof  that private rental stock should no longer be accounted for as part of our affordable housing calculation. ”

“We pressed him for an explanation on this point, but none has been provided.”

“The inspectors finding was to suggest that we should make amendments to the plan and bring them back to him within six months.”

“Under pressure, the inspector conceded that this was one move too far and some of the changes he requires, including allocating the land for a minimum of 2000 extra homes could not be achieved without a major round of consultation.”

“We suggested the pragmatic solution would be to shorten the plan period and undertake another review. The inspector was not prepared to allow us. He would rather have planning by appeal.”

“We were left with two choices. Either to totally abandon the plan-led planning, or to start a new local plan process alongside the detailed work that we plan for next summer as part of the revised South Hampshire strategy.”

“And that’s the process that is recommended by the cabinet.”

“We also recommend making representations to the Housing Planning Officer, on the substance of the inspectors God-like conclusions…”

Although the general tone of the meeting was non-partisan, Cllr House, Cllr Clarke and Cllr Kyrle did criticise the Conservatives for delaying the plan by withdrawing the Woodhouse Lane site for political reasons.

Cllr Rupert Kyrle was even more scathing of the planning inspectorate, saying;

“I do believe it is absolutely a disgrace that an inspector who is unelected and therefore unaccountable, can totally ride roughshod over a democratically elected council’s local plan.”

“As a consequence, this will put many further sites at risk of hostile planning applications.  On sites which we do not and have not wanted to see development at all, or in the future”

After the meeting, Cllr House told me;

“The planning inspector clearly doesn’t think the plan is suitable for his particular whim, so we will therefore work on a new plan. We recognised that we needed to work on a new plan for post 2027 anyway, so it just means we start earlier. ”

“In the meantime we keep cracking on with the sites that are in the existing plan and we’ll see if we can develop the strategy further, on the same basis as the existing plan, which is that we don’t want to see settlements merge, we want to keep key gaps between settlements, but we also want to make sure that we do genuinely meet housing needs, because there is a chronic shortage of homes in the Borough for our children and our grandchildren.”

“The new plan is going to be from 2011 to 2036 and will take the existing strategy forward right the way through to 2036. That’ll take a while to do. We haven’t yet get an absolute timetable. That partly depends on what the other councils in the area do, because the housing market assessment work won’t be completed until the summer of next year, at the earliest.”

“It makes it all the more important that we do take forward the sites that are in our existing local plan as quickly as possible, so that we can meet our five-year land supply.”

I asked Cllr House why, if the Planning Inspector is a “law unto himself”, why do we bother with the local plan..? Why not judge each application on its merits..?

Cllr House answered;

“Because the local plan is about a lot more than individual housing applications. The local plan is about conservation areas, it’s about employment land & sites, it’s about heritage, it’s about leisure, it’s about infrastructure, a whole stack of things over above the stuff which always excites the press, which is housing numbers. We’ve got to get the housing numbers right, but there’s an awful lot more to planning than just housing numbers.”

“So the local plan matters. The local plan also gives the framework for making it easy for councils to say ‘yes this application is good’ or ‘no this application is bad’.  That’s a critical feature of plan-led planning.”

“The alternative, of not having a plan, means you just have a random series of planning applications with a random series of implications  as to what actually comes out of that 10, 15 to 20 years later. That’s what creates messy urban sprawl and that’s the last thing we need…”

“Planned development. Right homes in the right places for the right people”

When asked about the Council’s relationships with the planning inspector and the possibility of further conversations with him, Cllr House said;

“The inspector won’t do that. The inspector won’t talk to us. He’s very clear. He has said that he can’t engage in discussion with the council. His only format for taking evidence is at public hearings which he has suspended.”

“So the current inspector has said ‘go away’. What we are actually saying to him is ‘go away too’, because we’ll come up with a plan and we’ll end up with a different inspector as a part of that process.”

“He’s  decided not to re-convene the hearings, that were due to start in January, which were due to look for site specific issues, because in his terms, we haven’t allocated enough land for building.”

“Now we can argue the rights and wrongs of that, but he’s entitled to come to his conclusion. Whether he’s right or wrong, we have to put up with it, because that’s a flaw in the planning system. It’s not about democratically made local decisions.”

“Decisions on planning applications are, clearly, most of the time, and if we take decisions that are  in accordance with the broad thrust of the plan then we’ll end up with broadly what we want.”

The next question to Cllr House was what can members of the public expect to see happen next. Will it be more of the same..?  Cllr House replied;

“Members of the public can expect to see firstly the council go out with a new consultation, probably towards the end of summer or the beginning of autumn next year, looking right the way ahead to 2036. The thing for people to remember when they start to see that is that we’re not talking about instant planning issues. We’re talking about things that could still be 20 years away, so don’t panic, keep calm and think of green fields.”

“They can also expect us to be working absolutely diligently to bring forward sites that are in the existing local plan and see them built out.”

“So the fact that we’ve finally won the judicial review on Boorley Green matters a lot, because it means the developers can now start to get on and properly develop that site out.”

“That is the biggest site in Eastleigh’s local plan, 1400 homes, it links to 250 homes at Pylands Lane with a new distributor road running from south Botley through to junction 8, so it’s a big package that matters and will help the quality of life and relieve traffic congestion in a part of the Borough too.”

“That will help a lot. It is going to be a great scheme. One of the things that we want to do with new development is actually get more of the community to realise that actually, good development equals good  communities with good housing.”

“We’re not in the fields of the 1960’s and 1970’s with housing thrown up on the cheap and they were really poor design and wouldn’t last and created problems. The housing we’ve developed over the course of the last ten years has been really good and the quality just keeps on getting better.”

Also present this evening, was Cllr Mike Thornton MP, who undertook to try to raise this problem in the House of Commons, hopefully in collaboration with the other MP’s who are experiencing similar problems in their part of the country. This is not a problem that is confined to the Borough of Eastleigh.

When asked about the purpose of writing to the Minister, Cllr House explained;

 “We want to draw attention to ministers, to the fact that the planning inspector has made up national planning policy on the hoof.”

“It is not his job to make up policy. His job is to implement national policy on behalf of the Government of the day.”

“He has decided, for reasons that only he could answer but he refuses to answer, that we shouldn’t take into account private sector rented accommodation in our affordable housing calculations when as we know, a very large percentage of people in housing need use the private sector to rent homes because they can get their rent topped up by housing benefit.”

“So affordable housing is met through the private sector as well as the public sector. There is simply no way that any council in the country can deliver it’s housing need just based on council housing and housing association rental stock.”

“He refuses to answer why he has come to the conclusion that he has, so we’re totally at a slammed door at that point, so the answer is to go to the Minister and actually get the Minister to bang heads together at the planning inspectorate, so that this doesn’t happen to other Councils.”

Cllr House added.

“We know that we are not alone. I woke up a couple of mornings ago to hear a debate on radio 4 about almost exactly the same set of issues being played out in a council in Devon. We know that there are tens if not hundreds of councils that are struggling with local plans.”

“We’re not in an unusual place here. Even those councils that think they’ve got their local plan in place, like Fareham, they’re going to have real problems when their five-year supply comes under scrutiny, because they’re going to be found wanting. There’s no way they are meeting their five-year supply.”

“This will eventually affect every council, so if we can get more debate in Parliament, so that ministers genuinely understand there’s a problem, that’s a good thing.”

I also asked Cllr House if this was one of the instances where it was useful to have the MP for Eastleigh also serving on the Borough Council. Cllr House replied;

“I actually do think, genuinely, that it is useful for MPs to be on their local Council. I know that’s not the standard practice in most cases, but it does mean that the MP has to be closer to what is going on in his local authority. I think it would be quite good if as a matter of routine, MP’s were on their local authority.”

Earlier in the meeting a local resident, Rigel Jenman, announced his plans for developing an alternative local plan, appealing to the council from the public gallery for help to make this possible. Unfortunately, he had to leave before the main debate on the local plan took place.

The Labour PPC for Eastleigh, Mark Latham, also asked questions on the local plan from the public gallery, though was refused the opportunity to ask questions about the Councils spending plans for 2015-16.

There was also some concern about the ongoing costs of the local plan, which was revealed to have already cost the Council many thousands of man hours. With more work now to be done, this was a particularly a concern to Cllr Atkinson.

Cllr Olson proposed a ‘cost saving and efficiency review’ which would reduce the number of Borough Councillors and Cabinet members, consider the future of Local Area Committees,  review ward boundaries and hold fewer elections. He argued that Councillors should take their share of the efficiency savings that needed to made in the light of another cut in funding from Central Government.

His proposal was slightly overtaken by events, as Cllr House had earlier announced plans to review the Borough ward boundaries for 2018.

The proposal was also the subject of an amendment which changed the words ‘cost saving and efficiency’ to read ‘good governance’ and was much less specific about what needed to be done. After some debate, the vote carried the amendment, with the Lib Dems voting in favour and the Conservatives against. It was not what Cllr Olson had wanted, but there will be a review.

However there was some good news for Eastleigh’s Council Taxpayers.

Despite another reduction in the grant from Central Government, Cllr House announced the councils intention to freeze the Borough component of Council Tax next year.  That decision is expected to be confirmed at the budget meeting in the New year.

52 Responses to Borough to re-start Local Plan process

  1. Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Let’s put some facts on the table!
    1. If Lib Dem controlled EBC had gotten their Local Plan 2011 – 2029 in place on Jan 1st 2011, we would not be in this mess!
    2. If Lib Dem Controlled EBC had accepted the sound advice from their Planning Policy Design team at a Cabinet meeting to select the Allington Lane site (that was originally put forward the MDA circa 2006 and nearly happened!), that can sustain up to 5,000 homes and other desirable benefits to the Borough of Eastleigh! We again would not be in this mess!
    3. If Lib Dem Controlled EBC had identified a 5 year housing land supply then we would not be exposed to hostile planning applications, and will continue to be until either a Local Plan is adopted or 5 year housing land supply identified.
    4. The Pre Submission version of the Local Plan 2011 – 2029 was withdrawn by Lib Dem Controlled EBC in 2013 as it would have been found unsound due to a number of reasons. NOT just Wood house Lane not being available!
    There was insufficient land identified for housing even with Wood house Lane included and the Transport data was incomplete for the Transport portion of the plan.
    5, Wood house Lane was NEVER offered for inclusion in the Local Plan by HCC. It was assessed by officers by both HCC and EBC as a possible option but not formally offered.
    I understand letters between the then Leader of HCC and the then Chief Exec of EBC made quite clear this Land was not being put forward by HCC. This was as early as 2011/2012!
    The Land at Wood house Lane was offered by HCC under the new leader of HCC in Sept 2013 after lobbying by The Lib Dem leader of EBC i understand.
    6, Even with Woodhouse Lane AND other significant sites that had to be included ( Fair Oak & Horton Heath) in the revised submitted Local Plan, the Inspector still finds in deficient.

    The only people to blame are the Lib Dems who run EBC and develop the Local Plan.
    If Allington Lane had been part of Local Plan 2011 – 2029 as the major site
    And NOT Boorley Green we would not now be so seriously exposed.

    • therigel on December 19, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      If you are from BPAG , hello ? should your name be save botley ?-

      what is your opinion of land south of chestnut , do you think the housing numbers for eastleigh are right ?

      and why do you think the inspector is not too blame – I told him how the data was distorted but he ignored it

      • Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm

        Chestnut Avenue is equally a crazy place to build.

        The focus as was advised to the cabinet should have been Allington Lane.

        And we need save Eastleigh from this dictator. He knows very well how the Inspectors work. He is on the HCA.
        And involved with the DCLG new homes initiative I believe.

    • Sam on December 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      I ‘m going to have a happy Christmas and a better new year.
      Thanks Steve for all your help.
      Sam

    • Sam Snook on December 31, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      West-End Focus-2005
      “Allington” ” Saved”

  2. therigel on December 19, 2014 at 7:57 am

    my account is here :

    http://www.landsouthofchestnut.wordpress.com

    sorry if anyone wanted me to stay , but I didn’t think it was worth it .

    • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Rigel. There were a few gasps of surprise from the Councillors as you left, but hopefully this new situation creates the opportunity you were looking for to work with the Council…?

  3. FINN on December 19, 2014 at 8:25 am

    So here is a chance… All you wanna be councillors to get on the anti development campaign bus, as if you’re elected in May you’ll actually be able to do something about the local plan!, Dan, Jim?, James?, Pete? Whoever? take note.

  4. E Waugh on December 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Did Cllr Louise Bloom attend this meeting?

    • Eastleigh Xpress on December 19, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Councillor Bloom sent apologies. I understand she is going into hospital for a major operation in a few days time.
      We wish her a speedy recovery.

      • Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm

        Yes speedy recovery.

    • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Cllr Bloom sent her apologies and also sent a report to the Council in her capacity as Cabinet lead for Environment & Sustainability. This was read out on her behalf by Cllr Broadhurst.

      The main problem with this was that there was no opportunity for other Council members to ask her questions in this public forum, though they can of course do so by email…

      • Hedge End Blogger on December 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

        If I counted correctly, nine other Lib Dems including one cabinet member were missing with no explanation given. And one cabinet member who was there answered every question on their statement with “I don’t have the facts, I will have to email you”.

        • E Waugh on December 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

          Pathetic bunch – why are we paying their allowances? Of course they should have the facts to hand – that’s their job! We have no representation from any of them. Self interest ranks high amongst this lot.

        • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

          Thanks Keith. I struggled to do that from my position in the room, but I could see that there were a few unexplained absences…

  5. Eastleigh Xpress on December 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for the report Ray particularly for the interview and the extensive – and time consuming transcriptions!
    It’s good to have record of what was actually said, it just takes so long to transcribe.
    Shorthand is a boon here but the great thing about a dictaphone is that they can never say they were misquoted or pretend later that comments were made “off the record”.
    I’m sorry I missed the digeridoo , or was it more of a digeridont?

    • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks Stephen. The digeridoo was certainly unexpected, but it was only a brief disruption and that was basically the extent of the protest.

      I was actually more concerned about the possibility of Mark Latham being thrown out of the meeting, which seemed to be on the cards at one stage because of his persistence in questioning the Council when the rules didn’t allow him to do so. I think the Police had left by that stage and Latham did eventually take the hint, so was allowed to remain…

      Also seen in the public gallery was Jim Saunders of UKIP and Cllr Day from Hedge End Town Council. Apologies if I have missed anybody…!

      The other event of note was a cable reel which descended gracefully from the balcony above the public gallery, landing amid the public. Nobody was hurt, but it shows the hazards of holding these meetings outside of the purpose built Council Chamber…

      • Hedge End Blogger on December 19, 2014 at 1:17 pm

        Cllr Khan of HETC was next to me in the public seats (I would hesitate to call it a public gallery)

        • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

          Thanks Keith. We appreciate that…!

      • Mark Latham on December 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

        The question I wasn’t allowed to ask, Ray, was what estimate had the Council made of the total Eastleigh would lose in developer contributions by not having a Plan in place.

        • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

          Thanks Mark

  6. Sam on December 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Cllr House and the Government Inspector close down the “Major-Development-Area at Allington Lane??

    Perhaps the Government “Inspector” would let us know.
    Sam

    • Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Was it not lack of Brown Field sites?

  7. Mark Latham on December 19, 2014 at 11:29 am

    17,000 new homes?

    Keith House, admitted last night that the rejection of the Council’s Local Plan by the Planning Inspector earlier this month meant Eastleigh’s villages could face a huge surge in development of up to 17,000 new homes. The Planning Inspector had demanded more affordable housing and rejected the plan the Borough Council had worked on for the past 4 years.

    I don’t agree with Ray that consensus existed at the meeting as the Council Leader blamed the Conservative opposition, (of just four members), for being responsible for the entire problem saying “for political reasons land was withheld, which delayed the adoption of the Local Plan by one year” referring to a site in Woodhouse Lane. Some eight Liberal Democrat Councillors played follow the leader in condemning Conservative action they repeated had caused the delay and failure of the plan.

    Only Councillor Kyrle stated the flaws in the plan were down to lack of infrastructure planning and care over air pollution. Perhaps he’s been reading Labour leaflets.

    I asked from the public gallery “how the Council would address the Planning Inspector’s comments that more affordable housing was needed?” All the LibDems spoke warmly about the need for affordable housing – which wasn’t in their plan. The Conservatives decried the need.

    Keith House is in denial about the seriousness of the inspector’s decision. The Planning Inspector had refused to discuss his criticisms of the draft Local Plan, so, in turn, the Council’s cabinet had decided to start the whole process again in the hope of getting a new inspector next time “there are 250 of them so we are unlikely to get the same one again” Councillor House said, like an errant schoolboy hoping a new teacher will give him a higher mark.

    The Council have shown “complacency and arrogance in the face of their own incompetence, which has opened the door to a massive amount of hostile development across Eastleigh’s fields with no community contributions from developers because there is no plan and we won’t have one in place for many years.

    Labour have pressed for homes to be built only where infrastructure has been upgraded, air quality preserved, and schools and GP surgeries invested in – under the Liberal Democrats it is clear that won’t happen.

    • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Mark. I didn’t report that there was consensus, just that the general tone of the meeting (with a few exceptions) was non-partisan.

      All of the Borough Councillors present could see the problem and were equally frustrated by the planning inspector and the adverse consequences that his decision has for Eastleigh Borough Council. Not one of them said a single word in favour of his decision…

      • Mark Latham on December 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm

        At some point the Lib Dems have to accept responsibility goes with power. Blaming the Inspector, who works to very strict guidance on affordability for example, is just convenient denial. Meanwhile it’s open season on Eastleigh’s fields.

    • therigel on December 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      ‘with no community contributions from developers’ – this is wrong ‘they’ will get the money (17000’s worth ?) of 106,CIL,NHB CT and planning fees and code assesment … not having the plan adopted won’t change that.

      What money will fund Lakeside & Fleming Park ? – in a reduced funding environment developer cash becomes an even more valuable election fund.

      What did you think of my 3 criticisms of housing need numbers ?

    • Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Lib Dems are in denial over Wood house Lane.
      Ask them to show the letters!!
      Bet they won’t!

    • Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      If the Lib Dems Think Wood house Lane was not made available due to political reasons, ask them why Boorley Green was chosen over Allington Lane for political reasons in a secret Cabinet meeting in July 2011 that a FOI request resulted in the Information Commissioner instructing EBC hand over the minutes. EBC went to the High Court and JUST prevented the handing over of these minutes.

      There must be something very sensitive in those minutes!

      • Ray Turner on December 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm

        The only good think to come out of this, possibly, is that restarting the planning process creates (or should create) another opportunity to look at transport schemes like M27 J6 and the Botley bypass…

      • therigel on December 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

        As I told the inspector , they have 2 plans , one for the inspector and one for ???? , I’m Alice not the mad hatter,

        to me planning is a science not an art so if we can agree a start point of facts and objectives, then their help would be fantastic Ray

        My alternative plan will have the same objectives as the EBC one – prosperity , health and well being , and stronger communities.

        BPAG should confront the issues and get their own neighbourhood plan , I’m happy to help

        and help for me is welcomed from anywhere – 07969808247

        • Save Eastleigh on December 20, 2014 at 10:09 am

          It is essential all parishes / communities develop neighbourhood plans. But there is a but…. Guess who hast to give the OK to develop these plans?
          Yep you guessed it EBC!
          And we know how much one person detests these democratic plans that input to the Local Plan.

          I’ m off to play with my Lego building bricks!

          • therigel on December 20, 2014 at 10:45 am

            Is it essential , or not worth it ? you seem confused, instead of playing lego why don’t you answer my q’s because I need to know if BPAG can help me.

            You went to the high court because you believe governments are reasonable, oops

            you can’t fight dragons with fire, trying to be a dragon plays into their hands, it’s cold steel or run away, and the cold steel is a reasonable neighbourhood plan with huge popular support.

            I’m angry with BPAG for wasting that money , I told SG it wouldn’t work , but she was convinced courts bring justice
            You should have given me the money
            and invested in a body of work.

            and that goes for everyone reading, if you want to help give me time or money
            my phone number is on this thread. I’m going to do my best writing a plan anyway, but it could be really good with help.

            If I had an independent hydrologists report , water and flooding reality, could inform my (our) / your plan , but ……

            Eastleigh you either fight, or crawl back into your hole

            • Save Eastleigh on December 20, 2014 at 11:16 am

              I am NOT BPAG!
              But a very worried resident.

              • therigel on December 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

                internet=
                forge for..

                cold steel !

            • Save Eastleigh on December 20, 2014 at 11:18 am

              You are also VERY RUDE.

  8. Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Why did our MP refuse to help in stopping the Boorley Green Development??
    Not much use then was he!

    • pianoman3 on December 22, 2014 at 12:00 am

      You’ll have to ask him when he comes knocking on your door next April.

  9. Save Eastleigh on December 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    This Lib Dem disaster, will I am sure cause the appeal that was lodged by Bewley Homes on 16th December for an application to build homes to the rear of Sovereign Drive / Precosa Road Botley to succeed.
    If this is the case residents will lay the blame firmly at the Lib Dem door,
    This land is a green gap between Botley and Hedge End.
    The application to appeal gives us ONLY until 2nd Jan to comment.
    No resident has been advised by any means.
    It was hidden in the Southern Daily Echo in true sneaky developer style and at the Christmas Holiday period.
    I hope Mr ‘Builder’ House and all his Lib Dem cronies have a good Christmas.

  10. John Milne on December 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Look out residents of Eastleigh as the Lib Dems have got the present they wanted for Christmas – an opportunity to build lots more houses, and get lots more council tax, whilst having a convenient scapegoat to blame for all the development.

    Happy Xmas Keith you may become King of Solent City yet. I look forward to the NY edition of the Focus with pics of all Lib Dem councillors up for election in 2015 promising to save our rapidly disappearing greenfields.

  11. therigel on December 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Remember it was the QC for Barretts that put forward the idea that all those in private rented, paying more than 30% on housing were in affordable housing need, it should be no surprise that the Government Inspector followed his lead, because governments are corrupt.

    Eastleigh has only itself to blame, the connection between them and their council has become a litany of falsehood and deceit , the lib dems were playing with fire and now the wind has picked up and they have lost control of that fire. Via their own methodology they have been trumped , and I have no confidence that it is not feigned surprise.

    They gave the Inspector a housing list figure of 6500 when it was 2500 , They allowed hugely optimistic GDP growth figures from PUSH, and
    They backed demographic predictions that took huge house building as an assumption.

    As I have made clear Central Gov needs Billions of new money and their plan is to suck everyone into huge housing debt to create it, instead of shipping people off to the gulag , they are going to make where you live into a gulag.

    The pretense at the examination was that the council brought it’s peoples plan , ie the councillors represented the people, when they planned for 9,000 new houses but they connived their way to that figure. Instead of representation , the people got a confrontation of developers because EBC Lib Dems are housing developers , they get elected via developer money, but Barretts seem to rule the roost.

    The additional 1000 houses are not important , the inclination just serves to allow developers more confidence when they file their planning app , they can be more bold. There is no such thing as a hostile app . Was it a coincidence that KH love rat exposure came out on the same day as plan rejection, or has the coalition told KH if you want a career, play ball.

    In the case of land south of chestnut, it is all irrelevant because EBC and HCC can refuse to sell , all they have done is agree to negotiate , so if they feel greenfield sites should be protected they can just keep the cricket pitch and the pasture confirm the areas heritage designation and scupper Highwood.

    When you protect someone, dare I say love someone , which is what the relationship between people and their representatives could be , you protect them from any threats – my father or the vicar does not get to abuse my children because they are my superiors in the hierarchy , if I allowed that I would put my status above my duty.

    If EBC Lib Dems are angry with the inspector why don’t they all resign in protest ? Governments success is appearing to fail.

  12. therigel on December 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    The reason BPAG are not open about their position , is that their implicit agreement with EBC housing figures makes their position all about saving Botley ,…….. they want the houses on Chestnut ! , they probably think ‘Euurrrggghhh’ the housing is for poor people and they are better off next to the existing council estates, so the ‘save eastleigh’ avatar wound me up

    If the aim is stronger communities social housing should go next to rich people perhaps.

    BPAG answer my questions please , your null responses make me guess,
    which makes my work wrong (potentially) , state you position.

  13. Sam on December 20, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Fair Oak residents opposed the “Major Development Area” residents were upset and blamed the Lib Dems.

    Cllr House made a deal with his party-elect me as your Leader I will try and stop this development. Cllr House called back the Inspector and suggested it would better if we stopped building on Greenfield Land.

    We can move down into Eastleigh where they have a lots of “Brown Field” site’s. The inspector agreed, the development closed down by
    “Councillor Keith House”

    “Cllr House” was elected as Leader of “Eastleigh Liberal Democrats” Democrats. “Record’s should be available”

    You can’t blame the Inspector for the delay.
    Its down to you “Cllr House”
    Sam

  14. John Renard on December 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    So Cllr House tells us “don’t panic, keep calm and think of green fields.”

    Hah! We certainly are thinking of green fields – at Boorley Green, Woodhouse Lane, Pylands Wood . . . you know, those green bits between the various settlements, those green gaps which the Lib Dems keep assuring us they are protecting.

  15. John Martin on December 21, 2014 at 3:03 am

    One of the aspects that bothers me is that E B C were well aware that the plan needed to be in place, and hence, any challenge/concerns should have been addressed around 2009/2010

    Instead, the Executives were absorbed in dealing with the Rose Bowl development.. The time and money spent on fighting the Judicial Review. and also having to negotiate with numerous parties, [ on behalf of who ?] was a time consuming dereliction of duty.

    Rose Bowl plc and their wealthy directors, and the English cricket board, plus Sky T.V should have been left to their own wealth and devices to create this ” Vital Community Asset”. By create, I mean rescue.

    Whilst the eye was off the board, and Executives and Council members revelled in the glamour and loved being pictured in front of the magnificent (though most often empty) terraces, the real responsibilities needed on behalf of us were lost.

    I realise it is difficult for Councillors to have to decide where houses haft to be built, but that is part of the role. Look after your ordinary here to-day residents should be the priority.

    Despite the paid for nonsense that tells us that huge numbers of jobs will be provided, and squillions will come our way via the Ageas Bowl, truth is, at best,only 10% of Eastleigh tax paying locals will ever visit the stadium/golf course. And who amongst us is going to try and catch the only No. 8 bus remotely available to get our wrinkles and toe nails buffered in the 4 star Hilton spa?

    On 70 grand a year, and Executives on even more, plus expenses, It is understandable that the top dogs will end up being with, and agreeing with, the so called movers and shakers.

    You know what? Are these people in reality , our Users and Fakers ?

    J.M.

  16. janet on December 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    When was EBC last audited by whoever audits councils? This lot are shambolic.

    I see Mike4eastleigh (!) was out an about at the weekend, doubtless peddling his and his parties version of events to the couldn’t care less public…shameful shameful people selling our lives and well-being to the developers.

    • therigel on December 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      It was the audit comission but the gov shut them down , now it is E&Y or one of the other big 4 ,

      actually is us that audit them, Janet and we don’t do a very good job !

    • Sam on December 27, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Janet get in touch with “YOU GOV” they will give you help and advice.
      Just click onto>> “YOU GOV” “Happy New Year”
      Sam

      • Pauline on January 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

        Don’t you mean GOV.UK?

        • therigel on January 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

          janet, pauline forget yougov just get stuck into the accounts of EBC – start doing your job !

  17. Name given-Sam on December 26, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Given communities more power in planning local development.
    Neighbourhood Planning gives communities the power to
    >make a neighbourhood development plan
    >make a neighbourhood development order
    >make a Community Right to Build order.
    Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act 2011.

    Neighbourhood development plans establishes general planning polices for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, like,
    >where new homes and offices should be built.
    >what they should look like

    The plan can be detailed or general, depending what local people want.
    Neighbourhood plans allow local people to get the right type of development for their community, but the plans must still meet the needs of the wider area.

    In most cases we expect this will mean that neighbourhood plans will have to take into account the local council’s assessment of housing and other development needs in the area.

    Role of the local planning authority.

    The local planning authority has a duty to support communities making their neighbourhood plan. For example, it will organise the independent
    examination of the neighbourhood development order or community right
    to build order. This is to check that the plan or order meets certain basic
    conditions.

    The local planning authority is responsible for organising the neighbourhood development order or a Community Right to build order comes into force in their area.

    To support their role, local planning authorities can claim funding of at least £30,000 per completed plan.(https.//www.gov/government/news/cash-boost-for-councils-backing-neighbourhood-planning)

  18. Sam on December 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Sam Snook
    Autumn 2005 Cllr Carol Boulton reports:

    The recently published planning inspector’s report into the Eastleigh Borough Council Plan has backed the Liberal Democrat controlled
    council plans NOT to have major development area consisting of
    4000 houses up Allington Lane.

    The smaller Borough Council made a brave decision to ignore the
    advice of the structural planning authority the County Council, for a
    major development area south east of Eastleigh and the planning
    inspector has fully backed the decision.

    The decision will mean the required houses for the area will be mainly
    be on brownfield sites within the urban edge of existing towns across
    the borough. Most of these will be within Eastleigh and the planning
    inspector has fully backed the decision.

    This is a great decision for West End and naturally, as an Allington
    resident myself, I am very pleased that this particular battle has been
    won. I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues will continue to be on our
    guard against any such uncontrolled development in the countryside.

    Sam say’s only part of the story-no mention of Cllr House?

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