Local MP claims House inconsistent on green belt

John Denham MP at Stoneham Park Eastleigh

John Denham MP at Stoneham Park Eastleigh

John Denham has branded Eastleigh Borough Council Leader Keith House as inconsistent on green belt development and in a stinging attack has challenged him to explain his support for building at Stoneham Park.

The Labour MP for Southampton Itchen was in Eastleigh over the weekend campaigning on behalf of PCC candidate Jacqui Rayment. While here he took some time out to take a look at the historic Stoneham Park site which has been earmarked for 1,300 houses under EBC’s Local Plan – despite strong local opposition.

Objectors maintain not all brown field options have been pursued first.

Eastleigh News asked Mr Denham how he felt about the prospect of Eastleigh Council allowing building right up to his constituency boundary, and he replied

“I like to see Consistency from politicians. I can remember when Southampton Football Club was trying to have a football stadium built the other side of the motorway and Eastleigh Council said there was no way there should be any development because this green belt (Stoneham) is absolutely sacrosanct.

“Now, we have the same leader of Eastleigh Council we had then, so we have to ask.

“What made you change your mind?”.

The former cabinet minister also expressed doubts that all brown field options had been exhausted:

“Clearly homes have got to be built and the first point of call should be land that has already been developed n the past – so called brown field sites.

“Very often you see sites like this go first because they are cheaper and easier to do

“Building has got to take place – but are we really using the land that has already been built on first?”

Mr Denham said the government should be investing in a house building programme and that a Labour Government would use the revenue from auctioning telephone licences to build 100,000 affordable homes.

Eastleigh News asked Council Leader Keith House for a response and  he rejected the idea that there had been any change of policy on use of  green belt land:

“John doesn’t grasp the geography. We still oppose development in the gap south of the motorway.

“The gap north of the motorway will include Lakeside, swathes of playing fields and vast woodland south of Stoneham.

” Pull the other one John!”

Mr Denham is not the only high profile politician to visit the Stoneham site recently. There have been visits from the leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett and also Maria Hutchings – the Conservative Parliamentary Spokesperson for Eastleigh.

One Stoneham Park protester observed:

“It’s a shame our own MP can’t come to Stoneham and show a bit of interest – although we do understand if he is busy at the moment”

  5 comments for “Local MP claims House inconsistent on green belt

  1. Stephen Slominski
    October 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Still not sure I understand why its not OK to build in the green gap South of the motorway but OK at Stoneham Park – I mean there are swathes of playing fields and woodland at Stoneham too, that’s why peeps are protesting.

  2. Stuart Jebbitt
    October 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Building on Stoneham would be a particularly
    crass move, not to mention an act of wanton destruction to the last surviving Capability Brown landscape in the Southampton area.
    In June of this year over 150 organisations, including English Heritage and the National Trust, met to launch a major celebration of the life and work of Lancelot Capability Brown, in his tercentenary year of 2016. But once again Eastleigh spectacularly fails to value or capitalise on it’s own heritage, it would prefer
    to destroy it.
    Whilst other councils will be celebrating and treasuring their heritage in 2016, ours will be sending in the diggers and concrete mixers.

    According to Eastleighs own website http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/countryside/other-countryside-sites.aspx
    it is a haven for both Kestrals and Kingfishers. Both are protected species, the latter carrying a jail term of 6 months for those who deliberately disturb their habitat.

  3. Brian Norgate
    October 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Same old Keith House – Lib dems promised not to build on the green gap,even EBC signed the deal with Southampton and Romsey Councils in 1995 not to build on the green gap yet another broken promise by Keith house.

    Its the same as EBC have promised the lowest Council tax rise year on year which is disputable
    maybe if you dont add the millions the Lib dems put on the Parish and Town Council charges from liabilities on EBC Council tax and special expenses.

    if you add them in EBC certainly do not have the lowest Council tax in Hampshire.

    All the other councils are more open and transparent with the Council budgets than Eastleigh, other hampshire councils dont hide information from the public under exempt items that EBC have been allowing.

    Other Councils only keep the minimum of information confidential but EBC is a blanket ban, imagine if the CEO went for another job in another Hampshire town would they still operate
    the same way, History tells us they dont.

    Southampton have kept their promise not to build on the green gap and potentially could object to the lack of infrastructure and traffic caused by
    Keith Houses broken promises at Stoneham park a senior Southampton officer quoted.

    so thats potentialy HCC and SCC opposing the Chestnut development on infrastructure and traffic
    so it appears Keith House who says one thing at the Partnership for Urban South hampshire and one thing at EBC may not get it all his own way.

  4. Sam Snook
    October 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Why Vote UKIP at the local elections -because
    UKIP stands for bringing government back to where
    it belongs-with the people-and above all,councils
    should be there to serve their communities, not just spend their money.
    Sam Snook

  5. UKgonetothedogs
    October 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    The Political Problem:

    1. They don’t listen.

    2. They campaign negatively (propaganda leaflets)

    3. They run their council like a dictatorship.

    4. They have turned Eastleigh into some sort of social housing experiment for wasters.

    The Solution:

    1.Political parties need to start listening, stop conning the electorate with schemes that simply cannot be afforded.

    2.The young, Vulnerable and elderly need protecting but EBC still seem determined to spend, spend and spend.

    3.The lib dems arrogance and ignorance is simply breathtaking.

    Most people voted for free trade not an integrated Europe, mass immigration and Brussels so i am not entirely convinced what “House is trying to achieve with his social housing experiment. The more social housing you build the the longer the social housing waiting list becomes and the so called crisis will not be solved.

    The Figures:
    Despite the so called savage cuts here are the stats for us peasants.

    Public sector net debt is £1,065.4 billion. 2012
    Public sector net borrowing £121.6 billion. (Deficit) 2012

    And you though things were getting better?

    Worth Reading:
    The Real National Debt: A Decade of Reckless Growth By Mike Denham.

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