There are just three weeks left for Eastleigh residents to have their say on the latest version of the local plan which will determine the future of development in the borough, not just in terms of numbers and location of the new housing but also new roads, employment and community facilities from now until 2036.
So far Eastleigh’s local plan has undergone a long, controversial and costly gestation.
The last version which was set to run from 2011 to 2020 was withdrawn last year after the planning inspector ruled it fell short of required housing numbers and necessary land supply.
The new options to be considered would provide for a total of between 14,000 to 20,000 new houses but the council say that as a result of building work already undertaken since 2010 – including and current and pending developments -there will only be a need for an extra 4,000 to 10,000 dwelllings.
This is still a substantial number of course and the proposed sites – or ‘options’ – may prove unpopular with local residents including those whom have previously raised concerns over the last plan.
Critics have questioned the sustainability of large scale development in the borough saying promised improvements to local infrastructure will not alleviate an already overloaded system with congested roads, long GP waiting times and a shortage of school places.
The development of green space has also been cited as a concern due to environmental and ecological damage and loss of recreational land.
But the council say plans are sustainable and new homes are required to meet future housing need and to maintain economic growth.
They make it clear that proceeding with a plan is a requirement, not an option and the absence of a plan will result in wholesale random ‘hostile’ development.
The government has already said that any authority which does not produce a plan, will have one imposed on them.
As part of the consultation phase the council is inviting the public to comment online on the latest plan by February 17.
The comment form and full details of the plan and proposed sites along with the evidence base and supporting materials can be accessed from this web page.
There is still a chance for residents
to attend a public exhibition on the plan today at Itchen Valley Country Park, Allington Lane SO30 3HQ until 9pm and on Saturday at the 2000 Centre, St John’s Rd , Hedge End SO30 4AF from 10 am to 4 pm