Upset for Local Plan in Botley and Stoneham

Woodhouse lane

Conservatives Graham Hunter and Maria Hutchings claim victory


Doubts over Eastleigh Borough Council’s ability to deliver part of their Local Plan have emerged today after County Council Leader Ken Thornber confirmed that HCC would not be releasing land they own at Woodhouse Lane for a new 1,000 home development and that it would not support the construction of any more than 300 new dwellings on their landholding at Stoneham Park.

The Local Plan which runs from 2011 – 2029, seeks to find provision for an extra 10,000 homes in the borough in order, say EBC, to meet the demands of an expanding local population.

Following a controversial public consultation the council opted to place proposed development sites on green belt land at Stoneham and Botley without the prior agreement of the County Council who own some of the land earmarked for development.

Members of Eastleigh’s opposition Conservative group – who had campaigned against the Local Plan alongside protest groups in Botley and Stoneham – were claiming a victory yesterday.

In a press release Maria Hutchings, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesperson for Eastleigh claimed that the decision by HCC meant that Eastleigh Council would now have to take the Local Plan “back to the drawing board”.

But Eastleigh Leader Keith House said the latest setback was not “a deal breaker”.

“The formal County position is not to release Woodhouse Lane before 2029, though at the decision-making meeting Ken Thornber said to the Lib Dem lead on property, Cllr Adrian Collett, that details could still be “open to discussion”.  That process continues”

However, speaking to Eastleigh News this morning Hampshire County Council Leader Ken Thornber insisted:

“Woodhouse lane will not be released in the period between now and 2030. There isn’t any room for negotiation”

Regarding the Stoneham site, Cllr House said both Borough and County staff were working together to bring the site forward “albeit they (the County) may want to limit the amount of housing on their own land”

Although the County Council may have stymied EBC ambitions to build 1,000 homes at Woodhouse Lane it has also announced it would be willing to make land at Winchester Street in Botley, available for up to 200 new homes – in line with the findings of an independent survey of Botley residents views on local housing provision – a proposition campaigners say they are more likely to support.

Cllr Thornber also added:

“We have made it very clear to Cllr House that if he brings forward other pieces of land we will co-operate to the fullest extent in building the infrastructure.”

In her press release Maria Hutchings said:

“Not only have we saved these Greenfield sites but we have also preserved our strategic gaps. Now I ask Eastleigh Borough Council not to cave in to premature applications for house building from developers and also to make full use of every Brownfield site in the constituency”

Referring to Woodhouse Lane she said:

“What concerns me most is that Eastleigh Borough Council knew that this land would not be made available for housing in January 2012, so why has the Council put local residents through such concern and desperation?”

Cllr Thornber was also critical:

“They never consulted us on the fact that Woodhouse Lane would appear – they should not have made assumptions. The decision was always going to be taken by the executive member for Policy and Resources -namely the Leader – so they were premature”

In a remark that both Thornber and Hutchings later described as ‘a threat’ Lib Dem Keith House commented:

“Clearly if Woodhouse Lane does not come forward during the plan period then other land – by definition more controversial and with a greater environmental impact – will have to be developed”


“I imagine residents in the communities concerned will not thank Eastleigh Conservatives!”

 See also: Hedge End Blogger

  14 comments for “Upset for Local Plan in Botley and Stoneham

  1. December 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Is it me or does Keith Mouse sound like a petulant little boy who is stamping his feet and demanding to be heard.!!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      December 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Well I can’t speak for Keith House but I think its fair to say he is a little miffed and at a loss to understand HCC decision.
      Mind you, its HCC officers who would have recommended dropping the site I don’t think Ken Thornber did it on a whim.
      Take away the finger pointing and what Cllr House is saying is that the housing is going to have to go somewhere.

  2. December 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Planners can now go back and finish
    the MDA-We also have brownfield sites at the civic offices and the law courts-although it could a football…..
    Sam Snook

  3. Charlie Farley
    December 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Every year, before elections, the Lib Dems produce a scaremongering piece of literature accusing Hampshire Conservatives of wanting to build on Eastleigh greenfields and the heroic Eastleigh Lib Dems fighting to stop them.
    Now we find out that this is untrue and that it is Eastleigh Lib Dems that want to build all over our greenfields and the Conservatives who are trying to stop them.
    No wonder K House is angry, so would I be if I’d been made to look such a hypocrite.
    Does this remind anyone of a certain Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh who signed a personal pledge against increased tuition fees or is it just me?

  4. John Milne
    December 15, 2012 at 8:51 am

    So if Maria Hutchings, the conservative candidate, has been fighting for local residents doesn’t it beg the question “Where is our MP when we need him?”
    The MP is supposed to represent the local residents not side with the Lib Dem council against them.

    • December 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      John’s right. If your problem is with Tory HCC then you will find Mr Huhne is a flipping brilliant constituency MP who will bend over backwards to help you.
      On the other hand if your issue is with the Lib Dem controlled Borough council you’ve had it.

      • December 16, 2012 at 12:34 am

        Steve is correct here. I have had issues with EBC on planning issues and was told by Mr Huhne that “I will not take on planning issues as part of my work.” This was recorded in his office whilst I was tring to get his support during my campaign to Save Sid.

  5. Rob Byrne
    December 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

    ooooh controversial BUT If you cut out developments which have been strategically planned, will this not mean they will pop up in totally unsuitable areas, in the middle of the lovely greens in most of the roads off Nightingale Ave, on the edges of the parks and council owned public spaces in Botley maybe ? One thing is for sure traffic problems and lack of amenity space will be a lot worse should the local plans fail, however bad we feel about development there !

  6. Alan Harris
    December 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Does anybody know why we need 10,000 new homes in Eastleigh? where do these figures come from? The Lib Dem Councillors are totally two-faced they say one thing in their literature and vote something different in the council – but the people of Eastleigh vote them in so they deserve what they get!!

    • December 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Yes-I quote “Mr Hollbone MP”
      What we are going to see is- swathes of our countryside built over to accomodate the millions of new arrivals from the EU.

      The controversial views flow on similar claims last week from
      the planning minister “Nick Bowls” that immigrants families
      accounted for nearly half of Britains housing needs.
      Hope this helps you Alan.
      Sam Snook

  7. December 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Does anybody know why we need 10,000 new homes in Eastleigh?

    Because the South East Plan says we do.

    Where do these figures come from?

    Try pages 9 -21 on here:

    Note Scenario 1 predicts that if NO further housing was built then the population in Eastleigh will actually fall by 8%.

    But this would result in some terrible things happening.

    The council would experience a loss in revenue from Council Tax.

    The council would experience a loss of revenue from the New Homes bonus.

    The council would lose revenue from a drop in demand for direct services.

    The council would experience lower rental income.

    The value of property owned by council will fall

    As Rigel Jenman observed “Build houses and the money rolls in”

    So remember. Build houses and the population and council income rises – don’t build houses and population and income will fall.

    Of course in 2029 when the local plan expires it will be back to square one.

  8. Judith Grajewski
    December 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm
    • December 17, 2012 at 2:21 am

      O well spotted Judith. What a corker. I will save you all a click.

      “This level of new house building would see swathes of our countryside covered in housing, and vital green spaces lost in our towns.”

      “We need to repeat our objections to proposals from John Prescott and the government.”

      “Eastleigh Council will have to bear the weight of a major allocation of new housing following the decision of the county council to force Eastleigh to allow more than an even share of the housing load across the county.”

      Guess who said this.?? Go on, have a guess.!

      It was Mr Keith House, speaking at the Eastleigh Council Executive Meeting in 2000.

      My how the worm has squirmmed and turned.!!

  9. December 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    The communites secretary has started the process to formally abolish the East of England regional planning strategy.Eric Pickles laid an order to abolish the East of
    England regional planning strategy in parliament today
    It is the first of eight strategies to be abolished, handing planning powers to local authorities.

    The MDA is waiting, perhaps Keith would kindly let the people know why he won’t build on the MDA.
    Sam Snook

Comments are closed.