Council urged to accept Local Plan changes

Councillor Margaret Atkinson

Cllr Atkinson: “Are we reading the same document?”

The Leader of the Eastleigh’s Conservative Group is urging the Council to make modifications to the Local Plan and put an end to “uncertainty and hostile planning applications.”

In a letter to the Council chief Nick Tustian, Councillor Margaret Atkinson also complained that a press release posted on the Council’s website was ‘misleading’.

Earlier this week the Government Planning Inspector advised the council it should scrap policies that proposed siting 5,300 new homes and motorway link road on a greenfield site North of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak and instead build on land in the South of the Borough including land at Fair Oak, Horton Heath and West End.

It was therefore misleading said Cllr Atkinson, for the council to say on its website that the Inspector’s advice was that the local plan ‘can be found to be sound’ as this would only happen, she said, if the council adopted the Inspectors modifications or else withdraw the Local Plan entirely:

“I’d hope that Council will be able to accept the proposals made by the Inspector for a way forward to be found that will put in place a Local Plan for Eastleigh as soon as possible.

Withdrawal of the Plan i.e. re-starting the plan-making process would leave the Borough open to yet more uncertainty, distress to residents and hostile planning applications.”

Writing to Nick Tustian Cllr Atkinson made it clear that the Inspector’s advice was far from an endorsement of the plan which she felt the council was suggesting it was, asking the Council boss “are we reading the same document?”

Eastleigh’s MP Paul Holmes has already written to the council criticising the press release and calling on the council to withdraw the local plan – views that were also endorsed by Steve Brine the MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford.

Eastleigh News has invited the Borough council to respond to the criticism of the press release.