‘We want houses’ say park protestors

Residents and a cross party group of activists chanting “we want houses” marched across Fleming Park on Saturday to demand that affordable homes should be built on the recently demolished council office site.

The locals have reacted angrily to a planning application by the council to allow a fast food dive thru – possibly a McDonalds and a coffee shop – to be built alongside what they say is already a heavily congested motorway junction.

An online petition organised by residents Caroline Pearce and Victoria Mount opposing the proposed development has already gathered 267 signatures.

Caroline Pearce: We don't want a Motorway service station

Caroline Pearce: We don’t want a Motorway service station

Caroline told Eastleigh News:

“This site represents a real opportunity we don’t want it just to be a motorway service station, we want it to be something that will really benefit Eastleigh.”

Eastleigh’s MP, Mims Davies, joined the marchers to lend her support and called on the council to use the site for housing

“Here in Eastleigh people are fed up with seeing their green fields disappearing for hostile planning applications on places they don’t think is right.

“This is a prime site for housing.

“ It’s a sustainable site, it’s close to the train station, it’s close to open spaces for people to enjoy.

“Why housing is not being properly and roundly considered here only the council can explain.”

Cllr Andy Moore: Lives at risk

Cllr Andy Moore: Lives at risk

Cllr Andy Moore – Ukip’s County Cllr for Eastleigh East – said he was worried that a drive through takeaway would generate extra traffic, which could cause problems for the emergency services.

“If you go up that road at 8 o’clock in the morning you can’t move – it’s bumper to bumper.

“If an ambulance has to get through it takes an extra 10 minutes – that’s someone’s life”

Steven Phillips: Devasting Impact

Steven Phillips: Devasting Impact

One local is labour party activist Stephen Phillips who is worried about the effect the development could have on Fleming Park:

“It s going to have a devastating impact on this lovely area.

Fleming Park is a credit to Eastleigh and a lot of people use it”

Ron Meldrum

Ron Meldrum

The Green Party were represented by Ron Meldrum – their Eastleigh candidate in last year’s general election – warned that if enacted the proposals would “intensify the existing stress on the local countryside”.

The plans are to be considered by councillors on Eastleigh Local Area Committee at their next monthly meeting – the council finds itself in the position of being both the land owner and the planning authority and in effect will have to decide whether or not to grant itself permission to proceed.

Eastleigh News has asked Eastleigh Borough Council for a response to and will update this story as soon as they do.

  7 comments for “‘We want houses’ say park protestors

  1. Matthew (Not on a back-hander) Myatt
    March 14, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    “the council finds itself in the position of being both the land owner and the planning authority and in effect will have to decide whether or not to grant itself permission to proceed.”

    When the council gave itself planning permission to cut down ‘Sid the Tree’ and build the POINTless extension, I had a meeting with the then MP and Environment Minister Chris Huhne, about the issue of councils being allowed to approve their own planning applications.

    This was kindly referred by him to the then Conservative MP, Mr Eric Pickles, who informed me directly that this was going to be addressed in new policy guideline’s to councils to prevent, what he saw as a ‘very strange practice that was open to abuse.’

    Sadly, nothing has changed and this Fib DEM council can still be judge and jury on its own planning applications as Steve has rightly pointed out here. Applications it has to be said that would not be approved if brought forward by a third party.

    The fact that this is being sent to ELAC for a decision is a total sham and complete non-sense. This has already been decided and discussed at great length behind closed doors with the leader of the council, Keith House, making it very clear that this application WILL be approved to his puppet ELAC councillors.

    So for me, I shall grabbing some popcorn and pulling up a chair to watch the whole seedy affair unfold. However, it is bit like watching a recorded football match when you already know the score!

    Eastleigh folk need to learn that if they keep on voting the Fib Dems into power, they will get Fib Dem policies implemented across the Borough. There is an election coming in May. If you really want to make statement to the council that enough is enough, then YOU, the voter and resident, have change you’re voting practices..

  2. mm
    Stephen Slominski
    March 14, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Another odd anomaly is that Eastleigh Town is the only area in the borough not to have its own parish or town council.

    I’m not making the argument for another layer of local government but just making the observation that ELAC members also act as de facto town councillors and ELAC residents are denied access to a recourse available to other residents in the borough.

    I recall a meeting of BFOHH when following a representation by the then Chair of Fair Oak Parish Council, the committee members voted down an application for a fast food takeaway in Fair Oak Square DESPITE the recommendation of EBC planning officer to permit.


    • Matthew (Not on a back-hander) Myatt
      March 14, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      “the committee members voted down an application for a fast food takeaway in Fair Oak Square DESPITE the recommendation of EBC planning officer to permit.”

      Of course they did Stephen! It was not their application, and not in the councillor’s interest. Unlike this application, then they did not have 4.7 million pounds tied up in the outcome, so could afford to be cavalier with about the possible repercussions to the local tax payer if the case was appealed by the applicant.

      This application is a much needed golden egg for the cash strapped Fib Dems, who are in serious need of topping up the coffers after making some very poor investments into private building projects funded by local tax payers money.

      Given my comments above, and the lack of official comment from EBC on the whole seedy matter, as reported by you, do not be surprised if the application is held back until after the local elections to prevent a public back lash at the polling station.

      Sadly, Eastleigh folk have very short memories and the Fib Dems are counting on that!

      • mm
        Stephen Slominski
        March 14, 2016 at 9:23 pm

        I haven’t seen the latest valuation of the council’s portfolio but I know it’s diverse and has been built up over time.

        So, for example, £80k for Home Farm and £6 million for the Swan Centre might have seemed like a lot of money at the time but today there is a fair bit of equity there and overall the portfolio certainly worth more than the £150 million of debt Ian Murray keeps banging on about.

  3. March 14, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks for covering the protest. Anyone who would like to sign the petition can do so here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/opposition-construction-mcdonalds-leigh-road

    • Matthew (Not on a back-hander) Myatt
      March 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Honestly, don’t bother! Its a total waste of time. It’s a done deal already! Everyone knows that the Fib Dems pay no attention what so ever.to petitions. Save the Allotment petition = Ignored and discredited. Save Sid petition = Ignored and discredited. Shall I go on? The best we can hope for now is that this is done quickly with the least impact on local roads whilst its being built. Its far to late in the day to be getting all up in arms about it now.. Face facts folks, THIS WILL HAPPEN AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Here, come and sit next to me and share my popcorn.

  4. March 22, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Flood Risk and Coastal Change. Hampshire has suffered the second worst rainfall in the South, enduring its “worst winter rain fall in 250 years.

    A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment ? is a study carried out by one or more local planning authorities to assess the risk to an area from flooding from all sources, NOW and in the future, taking into account the impact
    and climate change, and to assess the impact that land use changes and
    development in the area will have on flood risk. What say about Monks Brook.

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