Eastleigh Borough Council has embarked on a series of 12 exhibitions designed to promote awareness and discussion of its draft local plan which will see the number of houses in Eastleigh increase by nearly 20%.
The council say another 9,500 homes are need to keep pace with local need although this is contradicted by its own figures show the population would decline if no extra housing were to be built.
The first exhibition was held at the Point yesterday (Monday), but by mid afternoon it was clear that members of the public were thin on the ground and that visitors were outnumbered by Council Officers and the press.
While one elderly couple asked an officer why it was that 1300 new houses were needed in Boorley Green I asked another why new housing was necessary if the population is naturally declining.
“Well, we need to plan for different kinds of housing because people are living longer”
“But you can’t dictate what kind of housing developers build”
“Well err.. no”
I spotted a member of the public out of the corner of my eye.
“Excuse me Sir, do you think the council plan will go far enough to address the housing waiting list?”
“I’m from the Echo” he replied.
Eventually I managed to talk to one Newtown resident 54, who did not wish to be named:
“In my opinion housing is still overvalued and the market has seized up. This resulted being unable to move and being forced to live in unsuitable accommodation. Building more overvalued stock is not going to solve the housing crisis”
The exhibition is at Bursledon todayat St Pauls Church hall between 2pm – 8pm.