Botley Home plans in a Pickle

Eric Pickles says councils can scrap housing targets

Campaigners in Botley opposed to the building of 6000 new homes may soon have cause to celebrate .

The new communities secretary, Eric Pickles, has written to all local authorities telling them the coalition government will be abolishing regional house building targets.

“The previous government gave a green light for the destruction of the Green Belt across the country and we are determined to stop it.”

“We’ve promised to use legislation to scrap top-down building targets that are eating up the Green Belt, but I’m not going to make communities wait any longer to start making decisions for themselves.

“That’s why I have written to all councils to let them know from today they can make planning decisions in the knowledge Regional Strategies will soon be history.”

The previous Labour government had announced a target of building an extra three million homes in England by 2020 to help deal with the growing demand for houses with the area north of Hedge End designated as a strategic development area (SDA).

However members of the Botley Parish Action Group (BPAG) banded together to tell the Government:

“Not in our backyard!’

BPAG, who have described the move as ‘Potentially a very significant step in the right direction’ will now be waiting to hear if Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House will stand by his declared opposition to the development plan by scrapping it.

Both Keith House and Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne have previously hinted that local housing demands could be met by further development of brownfield sites within the central Eastleigh area but on Wednesday the government will be announcing changes to planning laws which will remove obligations on developers in to provide high density housing as in the Park 21 estate.

The government will announce that the targets requiring developers to build at least 30 houses on every hectare of developed land will be abolished.

Government Minister Greg Clark is also expected to announce that gardens can no longer be classified as ‘brownfield’ sites and then developed for housing – a practice known as “garden grabbing”.

Not everyone is pleased with the proposed changes. Critics say removing targets on housing density will result in developers building larger, more expensive homes and fewer smaller, cheaper homes for key workers and poorer families.

The ‘planning resource’ website branded the scrapping of regional housing strategies as a ‘nimby’s charter’ warning:

“Without some kind of strategic plan, councils will be at the mercy of nimbyism, whether they are pro-development or want their communities preserved in aspic.

This is no prescription for the certainty and confidence that the country will need from the private sector to aid recovery. Planners and developers in the housing sector are staring down the barrel of a gun, but the consequences for the wider economy will be disastrous.

We can already see signs of councils dropping core strategies like hot cakes. They do so at their peril.”

There are currently 5,000 people on the housing list in Eastleigh.

  14 comments for “Botley Home plans in a Pickle

  1. Graham Hunter
    June 7, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Now is time for Keith House to come clean and scrap the SDA (which he and his partner proposed whilst on the SEDA Quango).
    The scrapping of this ill thought out proposal will remove a huge threat to the peoples of Botley, Boorley Green, Durley and Hedge End. Far too much Council Tax Payers money has been wasted already on feasability studies by EBC.

    Come on Mr House, stand up and be counted and scrap all SDA activities. Put it to bed.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      June 7, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Just a reminder that there is a meeting of the Hedge End,West End & Botley Local Area committee 7pm tonight (Monday 7th June 2010) at the: Hedge End 2000 Centre, St John’s Road, Hedge End, SO30 4AF.
      Leader of the Council Keith House is expected to attend along with Cllr Kyrle.
      Although The SDA is not on the agenda there should be a few minutes available for members of the public to make representations or ask questions.

  2. Peter Stewart
    June 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    The temporary scrapping of mass house building targets is a Tory scam. This Tory coalition has calculated it can get away with it while it remains in office. It knows it will get booted out in a few years. By that time mass EU immigration will pick up again and these house building targets will be RE-imposed with a vengeance by the EU. Then the Tories can stand back and blame whoever gets in. Meanwhile the likes of Eric Pickles get to tell us they are scrapping unpopular legislation which they blame on Labour.

    The truth is, under EU open-borders legislation, any “self employed” EU “citizens” can come to Britain to live and work. This Tory coalition government CANNOT stop them! Sure! Right now the economic situation means lots of Eastern Europeans are going back home. But lots are still coming.

    Let’s assume there really is a net decline in mass EU immigration. If so the DEMAND for mass house building will decline anyway. Voila! More breathing space for the deceptive Tory coalition to say they are doing away with mass house building targets!

    But get this! As long as there is a huge labour rate differential between Britain and Eastern Europe, the mass immigration of cheap EU labour WILL continue. It is the law of the market place (but only so long as we remain annexed by the EU). Mass house building MUST continue.

    Those who say mass immigration of cheap EU labour will eventually stop because Eastern European labour rates will rise to our levels, ignore the fact there are still another 350 million workers in Eastern Europe who will happily come to Britain and undercut those over here foolish enough to hold out for more than the minimum wage!

    So this continuing downward pressure will drive mass EU immigration for the next century! The truth is, this mass immigration will continue NOT until Eastern Europe’s labour rate comes up to match ours (which would take a century) but UNTIL OURS goes DOWN TO MATCH THEIRS (which would take perhaps 10 to 20 years). I reiterate: This can only continue as long as we remain annexed by the EU.

    Meanwhile the EU is bankrupting Europe and Britain. Let us pray it folds sooner rather than later. Only then will be able to get on and rebuild Britain’s manufacturing base and put a stop FOREVER to mass house building in Botley. But under this Tory coalition it just won’t happen. So my prediction is that Botley will be spared for a few years until the economy picks up.

  3. Peter Jones
    June 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Why does everybody appear to be against the SDA? I have young children who will need a home to call their own soon, along with the 5000 people on the housing waiting list in Eastleigh. It is a fact that there is simply not enough housing in the South East region and I do hope that Eastleigh Council proceed with the SDA to provide this requirement to their constituents. At the end of the day they have to do what is best for the silent majority not the vocal minority……

  4. Graham Hunter
    June 10, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Houses Yes are needed but on Brown field sites NOT Greenfield and Allotments.
    Or Garden’s.
    Their is plenty of Brown Field sites around, also empty houses that need to be occupied.
    It is no good proposing 6000 plus homes when the local infrastrucure cannot handle it… schools, Doctors, Sewerage,Water, Transport and Roads. M27 is a car park now!
    The current SDA is utter madness, unless you want to conctete (and flood) all of the area.

  5. Peter Jones
    June 11, 2010 at 8:17 am

    It is a simple fact that there is not enough Brownfield sites or unoccupied housing to meet demand, that is why this Greenfield site has been selected. The concept of the SDA will mitigate the traffic increase that objectors are concerned about although it will of course have an impact. Doctors surgeries and schools and employment space will be built within the SDA so I believe it will be successful development.
    People need and are entitled to somewhere to live and the new government will be providing incentives for local authorities to construct new housing and additional incentives for social housing.
    I am sure all objectors must concede that the location their house sits was at one time a green field…….
    Bring forward the development for the silent majority not the vocal minority……..

  6. Graham Hunter
    June 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    The SDA was conceived to accomodate an influx of people to the area NOT current residents and is vastly to ambitious.
    If as people say we have 5,000 people in Easleigh needing a home, then why 6,000 houses? More than one person lives in a house, and there are many Brownfields sites begging to be developed.
    You seen how the Golf Links at Botley Park Flood now, seen how the land floods in woodhouse lane? All this land is in an area of water courses, you build it will flood even more!
    Also what about the Farms that would be under threat? Jobs, Livelyhoods lost.
    And on that front the occupiers of the proposed 6,000 homes, what jobs are there for them….. not many!

  7. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Maria Hutchings, the Conservative PPC, and Jerry Hall the Tory borough council candidate for Botley,put the SDA issue at the heart of their recent election campaign.
    Both campaigned very hard – Maria did not miss an opportunity to raise the issue – and both Chris Huhne and Keith House were forced onto the back foot by having to defend the Lib Dem record.
    However, despite this Maria did not win and none of the Tory council candidates in the affected wards managed to swing it their way.
    I think this tells the council all they need to know regarding local opposition to the plans.
    There seems to have been no rush to announce the Botley plan as binned so I guess it looks like it might be going forward to feasability testing.
    Its understood that no community wants to see a development of this magnitude on their doorstep – where ever it goes there will be the kind of concerns Graham Hunter describes in his post.
    Keith House has previously pointed out that the proposals contained in the conservative planning green paper which will replace the scrapped South East plan calls for the same ammount of house building in south Hampshire.
    Accepting there is a need for housing in the
    area it is hoped that the proposals for Botley will be scaled back and the numbers will be redistributed more fairly throughout the area, utilising brownfield sites where possible, so no one community has to bear the brunt.
    Whats going to happen next? Place your bets!!

  8. Graham Hunter
    June 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Point taken ‘Ed’, But Maria lost on Tactical voting by Labour supporters…. something they now regret… vote LD and keep the tories out… Wrong!!

  9. Peter Jones
    June 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    At the end of the day there will be a 6ooo house development N/NE Hedge End, trust me………

  10. I luv Pickles
    June 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I luv pickled eggs

  11. Peter Jones
    June 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

    The more that things change the more they stay the same……….

  12. Peter Jones
    June 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I luv pickled eggs  (Quote)

    Meaningful input……

  13. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Meaningful input……  

    You haven’t seen the posts I delete!

Comments are closed.