Chandlers Ford Parish Council reject Local Plan

Chandlers ford community centre

Chandlers Ford Community Centre

Chandler’s Ford Parish Council has voted to reject Eastleigh Borough Council’s proposals to build 1,300 houses at Stoneham Park and to develop land next to ASDA for employment but has supported a proposal to develop land South of Allbrook Way.

This followed a presentation to the Parish Council given by an Eastleigh Borough planning officer to advise Parish Councillors on the latest amendments to the Borough Council’s Local Plan for developments in the Borough up to 2029 as part of the latest phase in the consultation process due to close today at midday. (Friday July 13).

The Parish Council’s Planning, Licensing and Strategic Planning committees had made detailed studies of Transport and Sustainability assessments commissioned from Consultancies by the Borough Council to support its Local Plan proposals and the results of these were reported to members of the Full Parish Council.

Traffic concerns

The Consultant’s Transport Assessment had described the current state of traffic on Chestnut Avenue as congested and an existing “traffic hotspot”. Councillors considered the Consultant’s suggestion to mitigate the impact of the additional traffic movements from the new site as being inadequate in its suggestions of minor junction improvements and that residents opting to walk, use cycles, or public transport would limit any increase in car use.

Members felt that a more robust infrastructure provision would be required to protect the amenity of existing residents and the quality of life of those coming to live at the proposed site.

Councillor Colin Davidovitz suggested that road traffic management improvements to junctions and roundabouts had already progressed as far as they could at  hotspots like the ASDA roundabout and that any further increase in traffic would result in the need to construct flyovers – an item unlikely to be deliverable from developers’ contributions.

Councillor Peter Luffman said he feared that if  1,300 new houses were to be built at Stoneham then the extra burden of traffic in the Chestnut avenue area would ‘imprison people in their homes’ adding:

 “We are here to make lives easier for people, not to prevent them from getting out of their driveway”

Doubts on Stoneham

There was also some dispute as to whether development at Stoneham on the proposed scale could proceed at all without the consent of Hampshire County Council, who own part of the land. According to Cllr Davidovitz the County Council is opposed to building at Stoneham.

The Councillor said that HCC would not make land available as they believed the site could not sustain much more than 300 new dwellings. This was contested by the council planning officer who claimed that EBC has not been formally notified of any such decision.

However the officer did concede that without the co operation of the County Council, Eastleigh would have to reconsider its plans for the Parkland.

The Chair, Councillor Margaret Atkinson, asked the planning officer to seek clarification of HCC’s position.

Development unsustainable

Finally, in reviewing the Consultant’s sustainability assessment of the South of Chestnut Avenue site for the proposed housing development, Councillors found that on balance the numerous items of evidence describing areas of unsustainable features on site could not be properly outweighed by the suggestions the report made for their mitigation. Thus, concluding that this rendered the proposals for the site to be unsustainable.

Councillor Peter Luffman observed:

“Although no one item is enough to reject proposals if taken singly – It is the cumulative effect of the various proposals that make this plan unsustainable”

Councillors were also concerned that the development of the site on this location would diminish the Strategic Gap between Eastleigh Borough and the City of Southampton.

Employment land opposed

In commenting on the use of the additional employment land to be allocated in the Local Plan, Councillors noted that almost 50% of the land available on the Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate was currently underutilised and that no further employment land was required within the Parish Area.

Members were strongly opposed to the allocation of the Land South of the ASDA Hypermarket being proposed for employment as this would also diminish the strategic gap between Eastleigh Borough and the City of Southampton.

However, Councillor Godfrey Olson said that if this land was to be developed at all, consideration might be given for it being used as cemetery as the Parish and Borough were short of burial facilities.

Employment land supported

In supporting the allocation of land south of Allbrook Way for commercial use, the Councillors hoped that part of this allocation could be used to solve the problem of the relocation of the Household Recycling Centre (HWRC) from Woodside Avenue which is to be moved from its current location to make way for redevelopment.

However, aware that this could have the effect of increasing traffic flows in nearby residential roads, members proposed that if this was to happen, heavy goods vehicles from the west approach should be diverted to access the site and the motorway junction via Hursley Road, Poles Lane and Winchester Road, with HGV bans to be imposed on Hocombe and Hiltingbury Roads.

Unanimous support

While the three Liberal Democrat members present abstained from supporting the objections to the Draft Local Plan, all members voted unanimously to approve the Habitats Regulation Assessment screening report and the new Biodiversity Action plan – items that were almost overlooked due to lengthy debate on the Local Plan  but for the intervention of Cllr Paul Bicknell.

Commenting on the outcome of the debate, Cllr Margaret Atkinson said:

”We have had a very full and frank debate on these important proposals. The Parish Council has a duty to protect the amenity of its Parish residents and to make provision for their quality of life in the future.

“Parish Councillors have worked hard to assess the impact of the Draft Local Plan’s proposals and the consultant’s assessments for them and I hope that the constructive suggestions that we have made will be taken seriously and acted upon by the Borough’s decision makers.”


  4 comments for “Chandlers Ford Parish Council reject Local Plan

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    July 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I’m indebted to the CFPC parish clerk whose succinct but comprehensive press release I have gratefully pillaged.
    It was a long meeting which covered a lot of ground (acres of it) – always difficult to write up.
    Chandler’s Ford residents concerned by development proposals can rest assured their views were represented.
    All members – those who were present – contributed to the debate Cllrs Grajewski, Broadhurst and Pragnell also made interesting contributions as did Sam Snook speaking from the public gallery who was concerned about the effect continental HGV traffic is having on local roads.
    Cllr Pragnell did point out that the Parish Council seemed to be inconsistent in opposing development of employment land at Asda due to existing excess capacity then supporting it at Allbrook.
    (Although it was noted the land at Asda was within boundaries and Allbrook wasn’t ;))
    The uncertainty over the County Council’s position on Stoneham Lane is reflected at Boorley Green where HCC seem to be similarly at loggerheads with EBC.

  2. John
    July 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Great write up, thank you. Was lucky to catch this via twitter, but too late to make my own comments.

    Some comments as a local resident:

    I’m pleased that local politicians are in general opposed to this new development and rightly point out that existing industrial areas are under-utilised.

    But do we have dinosaurs representing us? An ASDA roundabout flyover? This is 2012, not the 1960s. Perhaps, like the burial ground comment, this was not meant seriously. People are telecommuting and concerned about active travel (see today’s BMA report on how we could improve our health through road network repurposing). Every year, there are less young adults learning to drive – more than can be explained by recession/unemployment. New development or not, walking, cycling and public transport increase capacity and amenity of our transport network. Suggest councillors observe rush hour on some of our back routes where school children and adults on bikes and on foot are reducing demand for local roads and parking.

    A HGV restriction on Hiltingbury and Hoccombe roads is well overdue, although the biggest danger and unpleasantness on these roads is speed and volume of LGV and private motor traffic. A 20mph speed limit for all of Chandler’s Ford would certainly help deter through traffic and improve amenity of our streets for very young and old residents at zero or negative net cost for economically active residents. DfT is consulting on policies for lower speed limits … forward thinking councils already have widespread 20mph. We seem less lucky…our dinosaurs will probably procrastinate and we’ll only get 20mph residential streets through national policy / legislation.

    Personally I would rather see development at the south-of-ASDA site than at Allbrook Way. The strategic gap here between CF and Soton here is already lost to parked cars! Near Allbrook Way we have an oasis of quiet lanes and with some leisure and active travel value.

  3. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    July 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for the compliment but I must bow towards the Parish Clerk.
    The burial ground idea was a serious proposition. We have a burgeoning population, it seems people keep on dying and not everyone wants a cremation.Councillor Olson was looking ahead, the site in question is on the test Valley boundary so there is hope TVBC might develop a woodland burial ground on their side of the boundary line.
    I expect the existing borough cemetery will be required for housing/hotel/megastore in another 50 years time.
    Eastleigh’s original burial site – the churchyard at the Church of the Resurrection – is now a car park and bin storage area for flats.
    To those who think HGV weight limit will save them may I point out Twyford Rd has a 7.5 tonne limit.
    Yes, the Police do have regular purges but IMO the only sure way to enforce are land mines primed to detonate at 7.6 ton.
    Councillors are guided by professional advice on traffic projections but who really knows? Another oil spike and we could all be on horse and cart – or what if Amstrad start marketing personal teleporters?(Think Higgs-boson!)

    • maureen
      July 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      Never mind elusive particles, think Poltergeist – don’t use the car park in the rain!

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