Speaking at a special meeting of Eastleigh Borough Council this evening, the Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council reported on progress with the new local plan.
Readers of Eastleigh News will recall that opposition to previous versions of the draft Local plan led to some political manoeuvering which saw the Woodhouse Lane site witheld by Hampshire County Council. That little problem, and some other difficulties with the transport assessment, prevented the draft local plan from reaching the Planning Inspector at the end of 2012, but although Eastleigh does not yet have a new local plan, outline planning permission has already been granted for the controversial green field site at Boorley Green.
Much to the irritation of the national media, The Boorley Green site became one of the main features of the Eastleigh by-election campaign in February.
Now, with by-election and County-Council elections a distant memory, the Woodhouse Lane site has been made available for development again and a new version of the Local Plan, with even more housing, has recently been issued for another round of consultation.
All of those delays have meant that Eastleigh does not currently have an approved Local Plan, a situation which has caused Eastleigh Borough Council to be plagued by ‘hostile developments’, from developers proposing new house building in places that the Council do not want.
As Cllr House explained;
“Consultation events have been running across the Borough and I urge Councillors to go along to their local event if at all possible. There’s at least one in every Parish.”
“The urgency of getting our local plan right is more than demonstrated by hostile planning applications from developers trying to bust our local plan on sites that we’ve rejected for good planning reasons. ”
“Planning staff have recently refused one such scheme in Allington Lane, Fair Oak. Another at Old Netley, opposite Bursledon Green, was rejected by our Local Area Committee. That plan, from Taylor Wimpey, is now going to appeal.”
“We have a new application from a Sheffield based company, at Hound Corner, north of Hamble station and Barratts seem determined to work against our local community with a proposal opposite Pylands Wood.”
“All of these cases demonstrate why we must press ahead quickly with the local plan, to help give certainty for our communities, even though we face some difficult decisions.”
After his report, Cllr House invited questions from the Council, but there were none.
The latest consultation runs until 2nd December. The consultation documents and details of how you can respond to them are on the Eastleigh Borough Council website at http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/planning–building-control/planning-policy-implementation/draft-local-plan.aspx