Highway ‘concerns’ stall Local Plan

Boorley Green

Meadow at Boorley Green, photo Peter Facey

Progress on Eastleigh’s controversial Local Plan – which was due to be submitted to the planning inspector in January – has been delayed due to unresolved ‘substantial matters’ and ‘concerns’ from the Highways Agency the council has revealed on its website.

A recent update on the council’s local plan web page reveals the public examination will now not take place until at least July:

“We have a small number of representations on more substantial matters that we hope to be able to resolve, although this may take some time. In particular, concerns have been expressed by the Highways Agency about the transport assessment undertaken for the Plan and the County Council’s acceptance of that assessment in its present form.

Whilst it had been our intention to submit the Plan before the end of this year, we now think that the additional work that is necessary will mean that the Plan will not be submitted to the Secretary of State/Planning Inspectorate for examination until the spring of next year. That would then mean that the public examination hearings would probably take place in July or early August 2013. We hope to be able to adopt the plan by early 2014.”

The proposals which provide for an extra 10,000 dwellings in the Borough by 2029 have come in for fierce opposition from local protest tests groups including ‘Save Stoneham Park’, Botley Parish Action Group and Botley Park Golfers headed by former Borough Chief Executive Chris Tapp.

In addition both Botley Parish Council and Chandlers Ford Parish Council have registered objections.

Objectors to the Local plan – who have previously  told Eastleigh News they believe that land owners Hampshire County Council will not make their land at Stoneham or Woodhouse Lane available for development ( a claim disputed by Eastleigh Council leader  Keith House ) say the postponement is evidence that the Borough’s local plan ‘is in tatters’.

When asked for further details on the “concerns and unresolved matters” a spokesman for Eastleigh Borough Council said:

 “All the submissions are published in full on our website for everyone to read so all the information is contained on our website.”

The spokesman also told Eastleigh News that respondents to the Local Plan consultation would be notified of changes to the schedule at an ‘appropriate time’.

This is second setback the council has suffered recently over their flagship planning imitative after Sainsbury’s dumped the council at the eleventh hour over plans to rebuild their Eastleigh store in return for funding a town regeneration project.

The supermarket giant – who has just posted a half year profit of £405 million – said they could not afford to proceed although they are still going ahead with a new supermarket at Blackfield with New Forest District Council.

More post about the Local Plan here

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