Eastleigh’s Lib Dem cabinet has agreed to spend over £8,000 on consultants to help fight plans to extract gravel at Hamble Airfield after cabinet member David Airey warned them it would be ‘Politically damaging’ not to do so.
A Public Inquiry into the Hampshire Minerals and waste plan is to be held in June. Eastleigh’s Lib Dem council has been against the Conservative County Council’s choice of Hamble as a site for gravel extraction while the Tory’s have maintained the gravel is needed to help build the roads and 10,000 homes EBC is proposing in their local plan.
Both the gravel extraction quota and the house building target have been inherited from the old (Labour Government) South East plan.
EBC say there are ‘significant ecological, economic, amenity, transport, road safety and air quality issues’ for the site while Lib Dems maintain the Gravel extraction is a ‘Trojan horse’ for future housing development.
All three parish Councils and a large number of local residents have objected to the plans and at the cabinet meeting on May 17 members ratified the executive decision taken by leader Keith House and the Chief Executive to appoint ‘consultants’ at cost of £8260 to be taken from reserves – the item having been submitted as an ‘urgent’ late paper.
Speaking during the debate Cllr Airey who represents Hound said the cost was justified.
“We must put up the strongest possible case, because otherwise we will be criticised by residents on the Hamble peninsula and it will be politically damaging if we don’t”.
see also Hedge End Blogger: Council to call in consultants