Hostile Housing developments cause House a problem…

House Building 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.

Woodhouse lane

Conservatives Graham Hunter and Maria Hutchings claim victory, somewhat prematurely as it turned out….

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

 

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site. 

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  30 comments for “Hostile Housing developments cause House a problem…

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    October 31, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Local Conservatives will say Woodhouse Lane was not ‘withheld’ – they never agreed to inclusion in local plan.

  2. Rosie
    October 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    This just seems to be a ploy to try to get local people to accept the “Local” Plan, especially with the exhibitions ongoing currently. Today’s Council meeting also probably explains why only one (non-Lib Dem) Bursledon parish councillor was visible at the Bursledon exhibition during one of the peak hours this afternoon. No opportunity to comment to, or question, our Lib Dem councillors, therefore, no doubt because, as always, they’ve already made their decisions and are unlikely to listen to public wishes and comments, as they didn’t for the last draft of the Local Plan. A “hostile” builder wanted to build in an ideal place for affordable housing, close to Tesco Bursledon and close to the existing Sholing, Thornhill etc housing areas, but that was thrown out by the Lib Dem Borough Council because they don’t want any building alongside Hamble Lane (interesting to look on a map where the Bursledon Lib Dem councillors live …). Hamble Lane only appears to be a problem at the Tesco/Windover end and there is an existing road which could be used to divert traffic coming from the Southampton/West End direction which would take away much of the current gridlock traffic problem. Hamble Lane could also be widened. Meanwhile, Lib Dems continue to push through (ahead of Local Plan agreement)plans to build on some of our best ancient meadowland, including adjacent to the quietest part of the River Hamble (approx 200 houses planned for Bursledon on the only ancient oak-lined meadowland left between the M27 and A27!). Yet have we seen any plans for significant true brownfield development? No, just the odd few houses on former pub sites!

    • November 1, 2013 at 11:42 am

      I’m sure the hostile development is a genuine problem for the Council Rosie.

      The difficulty is that there is political pressure to build more houses, not just to create new homes but to help boost the UK economy.

      Developers want to make a living, have latched on to that opportunity and want the big greenfield sites that existing residents hold dear. Our planning system seems unable to deal with that sort conflict, where the camps are diametrically opposed.

      At the end of the day the decision will boil down to who has got the most power/influence and the most money…

  3. Graham Hunter
    November 1, 2013 at 4:24 am

    EBC were advised I understand as long ago in communications from HCC as September 2010 that its landholding at Wood house Lane was not available for development.
    I understand that officers from both councils worked together during the SLAA phase to establish what land MIGHT be made available, but this is I understand normal process during a Local Plan run up.

    Despite I understand a number of communications to EBC from HCC indicating Wood house Lane was not available for development, the final one being in late 2012, EBC continued to include it in the Local Plan.

    The decision not to make Woodhouse Lane available was made by the then HCC Executive member for policy and resource.
    After the HCC May elections, EBC lobbied HCC to change its mind.
    HCC were legally obliged to reconsider its decision.
    Sadly for us all the new Executive member for policy and resource at HCC reversed the earlier decision, much to the immense disappointment of us all.

  4. Graham Hunter
    November 1, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Just to firm a point. Woodhouse Lane I understand was NEVER offered for development in the original draft local plan.
    It was in September 2013! After lobbying by EBC.

    • Keith House
      November 1, 2013 at 9:55 am

      The history of this site is very clear despite protests from local Conservatives. The County Council employed London consultants to draw up plans for the site – we have them on file at the Borough – along with land at Winchester Street and Kings Copse Avenue. County Cabinet agreed the land could come forward, then Ken Thornber in an act of political opportunism changed his mind after the planning consultation ended. The delay to the Local Plan has made it harder for the Borough to defend other sensitive sites around the Borough. These are all facts and on the record.

      • Graham Hunter
        November 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

        Sorry Keith we will have to agree to disagree. When any discussions that require a Council to co-operate with another council, consultants will be used to advise them. Just as does EBC.
        The SLAA phase was this phase. What COULD the landholdings be used for NOT WHAT they are going to be used for.
        Officers may like the idea of development, but like EBC it is the members and Cabinet / Leader that makes the decision.In fact EBC had very many landholdings in its SLAA portfolio. I understand originally Woodhouse Lane was incorrectly marked up by EBC as available, but was asked to correct this by HCC in Sept 2010.

  5. Graham Hunter
    November 1, 2013 at 6:11 am

    The Boorley Green site has not yet been granted outline planning permission. The S106 legal agreement still has not been signed, even though it has been imminent since the summer.
    Also why was not the Local Plan 2011 – 2029, not ready to take over seamlessly on Jan 1 2011?
    It would seem logical to prevent ‘Land Grabs’ to have seemless local plans, that are worked up, approved and adopted ready to take over ready for when the old plan expires. With contingencies in place should planning policies change…. As they always have done.

  6. Deborah
    November 1, 2013 at 10:25 am

    What worries me is House’s and his council lackey’s blind indifference to infrastructure issues evident in the borough today that are only going to be compounded by building all these homes. I am not convinced by the need for so many and there are no warranties in place for the new schools/ roads and medical facilities needed to facilitate the huge surge in population. They seem to be underplaying the impact that the housing will have for example at the recent “Bloor event” in Fair Oak regarding the 330 houses on greenfield land, “our” part time councillor Roger smith reckoned that there would only 70 extra cars at peak times!! 330 houses would mean at best 330 cars, but most houses in the area have two or three! The Roads in fair oak are already log jammed at peak times!

    This whole plan should be put on hold until it has been properly impacted so as not to make the lives of hard working Eastleigh residents any worse than they currently are with the overcrowded schools, gridlocked roads and surgery appointments that can take weeks.

    However, it seems the Lib dem council elected by the minority are hell bent on this ill-conceived plan and have closed their ears to objectors.

  7. November 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for comments everybody..

    Also see the story for about subsidised car-parking, where Cllr House referred to the existing car park at Civic Offices in terms of “loss of development value to the Council”.

    Did that reveal an underlying desire to build on every possible scrap of available land…?

  8. Gav
    November 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    and increase their tax revenues?

  9. Sue
    November 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I am very concerned re the way developments are “planned”. The roads are never adequate so new development always seems to lead to congestion and air polution. Are there youth clubs? Is there anything for all the youngsters to do? Do we have enough Drs? Local schools are bursting at the seams. Will there be adequate parking on these developments? We already know that the answer is no. As Deborah above mentioned each home these days has a minimum of 2 cars usually. How many of these new homes will be affordable ones? How many will not be affordable at all for local people and simply suck others in who need to commute to London etc? People need homes and I have no objection to proper long term planning for the local population. But this isnt what we are talking about here. We are talking about people being crammed together in over priced accommodation, with inadequate parking or social facilities, to make some people (builders) a packet!

  10. Sam Snook
    November 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Sam Snook 05/11/2013
    Well said Deborah and Sue.
    The infrastructure wont cope.

    There are increasing number of vehicles on UK roads
    (which were built for horse and carts) So we need to improve
    the quality of our network, reduce congestion, and ensure
    that local parking enforcement is fair and effective.

    The network has suffered from lack of investment for too long,
    this has worsened the experience of motorists and damage
    the UK’s ability to compete.

    Building more homes or Building a new roads-your choice.
    Sam Snook

  11. November 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Who is up for a referendum? Looks quite easy to achieve. http://www.sovereignty.org.uk/features/activistinf/ref.html
    It’s not legally binding but might be a slap in the face of those Fibdems who pretend to represent us.

  12. barid
    November 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Bring it on Matthew though I doubt the fib dems will listen they seem beyond reproach

    • November 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Baird this is only at a parish level. Unless you are in my parish you may want to sort out your own parish poll

  13. Sam Snook
    November 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Sam 05/11/2013
    Its not Keith-
    Our councillors are elected by the people- and should represent the people-how local councillors can just seat there-and vote for the plans
    rejected by the majority of local people , is sickening—
    Sam Snook

    • November 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      They’ll argue that they are representing the people Sam, the people who don’t have a home or who are inadequately housed.

      I’ve heard them do so on various occasions…

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        November 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm

        ‘The people who aren’t in the room’

        • November 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm

          Yup. That was the phrase they used.

  14. Sue
    November 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    they would only be able to argue that if they were building social housing? That would house local people. But private housing will suck in people from outside our area. People most likely who did not vote for our councillors.

    • November 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      A very good point Sue. Thanks.

  15. Jamie
    November 6, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Sue, who are these local people? Presumably they are living somewhere at present. I don’t see why we have to destroy Eastleigh’s greenfields to give people cheap houses why the rest of us have to toil away to pay stupidly high mortgages. If it is a roof over their heads they need build a tower block not try and put them on a level playing field with those who work hard for what they have!

  16. Gurdip
    November 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

    If its “social” why do people need houses at great cost to the enviroment; surely flats would take up far less space?

  17. Sue
    November 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    many people (in fact a huge number of people I know) toil away working very long hours for very little money. They keep this country going and yet cant afford to buy a house. There is nothing wrong with renting. It should be an option available to everyone no matter what they earn or their circumstances. But rents should be affordable and not the almost £1000 a month that the semi next to me will be rented out for by a private land lord! I am not saying that the land proposed for development at the moment is appropriate but I am saying that we need homes. I grew up locally and the vast majority of the housing has been built since I was a child. Maybe even the house you live in Jamie. I lived in a small village and now it is a town! Times change and people have to live somewhere

    • November 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Do you think 10,000 new homes in he borough will result in lower rents ?

  18. Jerzy
    November 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Nope, just more profit for the fatcats while the rest of us suffer because of the lack of infrastructure, schools, roads and medical facilities necessary to support the raft of economic migrants

  19. Sue
    November 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    No as they will be mostly private homes. If we had enough social housing then that would probably reduce private rents. As things stand we will be getting the worst of all words! Massive influx of people, barely any extra affordable housing and inadequare infrastructure. But some builders will be quids in!

  20. Rosie
    November 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    One of the best sites for truly affordable housing is the land oopposite Tesco at the top of Hamble Lane (car boot sale site and adjacent land). It could be entirely affordable, close to the communities of Sholing and Thornhill, with excellent bus routes. The reason the Lib Dems don’t want to build on it? Hamble Lane traffic is always quoted but, in reality, it’s about not wanting to be joined up with Southampton Council area. A road could easily be run from the A3024 down to part way along Hamble Lane, thereby relieving much of the Hamble Lane congestion problem (which is no worse than the A27!). Perish the thought that 2 councils could actually work alongside each other to satisfy the true affordable housing needs! So we’re having to put up with hundreds of houses that, as has been said above, will just bring in (affluent) people from outside the area, second homers with yachts on the Hamble and buy-to-let retirement-fund private buyers, with the affordable housing need still not resolved. If Councils were managed by truly objective individuals working for the community, rather than career politicians working for themselves and their parties, this country would be a much better place to live and we wouldn’t be losing all our best countryside unnecessarily.

    • Sue
      November 9, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I hadnt realised that piece of land belonged to Eastleigh council. I had assumed it was a part of Southampton. I am going to the local plan presentation day in Hedge End next Saturday I hope so I will raise this.

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