Campaigners opposed to a large housing development at Boorley Green have suffered another setback today after a judge ruled against their appeal contesting a decision not agree to a judicial review into the plans.
This is the second time has been knocked back and the Botley Parish Action Group and Botley Park Golfers issued a joint statement to say they were seeking urgent advice as to whether or not they had any grounds for further appeal
Meanwhile Council Leader Keith House urged Boorley Green residents to back the council saying they should stop “wasting time and money” as the most they could achieve would be to delay construction at Boorley Green by “just a few more weeks”.
The plans will see a 1,400 home estate built on the rural Botley Park golf course in what BPAG says is the biggest development in the borough for 25 years, which they say, would ‘swamp’ Boorley Green and nearby Botley.
The campaigners accused th council of “multiple failures” in delivering the local plan and an adequate housing supply.
Earlier in the week a planning inspector allowed a disputed development on Hamble Lane to go ahead after he decided the council had been ‘unduly optimistic’ about their housing supply.
In an email to Eastleigh News BPAG Chair Sue Grinham she believed the problems currently besetting EBC could have been avoided if they had opted for the former ‘major development area’ at Allington Lane which had been narrowly rejected by the public during early consultation on the local plan.
“If EBC had proceeded with the selection of the site of Allington Lane they could have saved everyone a lot of grief and had their Local plan would have been signed and agreed months ago. The villages of Botley Horton Heath and Fair Oak would not have been exposed to further high density development and an opportunity to regenerate Eastleigh town could have been created along with redevelopment of the old rail works”.
Speaking for the Botley Park golfers – who will now lose their course as a result of this decision – former chief executive of Eastleigh Borough Council Chris Tapp said the council should be ashamed by the failings of their planning strategy.
“The responsibility for the situation, in which there was no up-to-date Local Plan, nor a five-year housing land supply, lies directly in the failures of Eastleigh Council. For the Council to have relied so heavily on those failures to seek to “justify” the grant of planning permission is a travesty of proper, responsible planning, for which the Council should be ashamed”.
Keith House hit back saying:
“Chris Tapp retired some years ago and is clearly unaware of how the planning system works nowadays. As a Planning Inspector observed just this week, this site was inevitably going to proceed. It bears no relationship to the Local Plan or even significantly to a five-year land supply. The Council had a responsibility to decide the application based on national planning policies, as well as local ones, and it did”.
Reacting to the planning inspectorates decision to allow building off Hamble Lane to proceed Keith House said:
“One rogue Planning Inspectorate decision is not going to set us back”
“The stakes remain high to save more of our countryside around all of our villages, but the Lib Dem Council team is determined to fight on”.
Commenting on Keith House’s criticism of him, Chris Tapp added
“The Council’s responsibilities to have both an up-to-date Local Plan, and a five year supply of land for housing development, are key parts of government planning policy. These, in Councillor House’s own words, are part of “how the planning system works nowadays”. The Council have failed to meet either of them. They specifically relied on those failures in granting the Boorley Green planning permission, and in their defence to the BPAG legal action.
If more confirmation were needed, the impact of these Council failures can also be clearly seen, in the Planning Inspector’s decision this week, on an appeal by developers, to grant the Hamble Lane planning permission.”