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CPRE Hampshire oppose Eastleigh Local Plan

Eastleigh Countryside Eastleigh Countryside

 Plan found to be 'unsound'

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Hampshire have submitted strong objections to aspects of the new Eastleigh Local Plan.

The Local Plan, which sets out the proposed housing and development of the local area until 2036, has been rejected as being ‘unsound’ by the local countryside charity.

Our Chief Executive Charlee Bennett stated, ‘We object to this proposed plan for a number of reasons and feel the Eastleigh plan is unsound and not legally compliant. We do not feel the process of public consultation conforms to the councils own Statement of Community Involvement – with some of the decisions seemingly being decided before any public discussion, in particular, the selection of Options B and C (north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak) for a Strategic Growth option. These sites have been determined to be the most highly valuable and sensitive landscapes in the borough, and any development of them will likely have an adverse impact upon the South Downs National Park, countryside gaps, ancient woodlands, historic parks and the biodiversity of the River Itchen. These precious landscapes would also be under threat from the plan’s proposed new road link.

In addition, the housing numbers used within the plan are out of date and were not subject to any independent verification. This could cast doubt on the future projections of the housing need as stated in the plan. Eastleigh’s latest populations projections show 11,500 fewer people by 2036 than previously envisaged’.

These concerns have been verified by independent experts asked by the charity to evaluate the proposed plan. Ms Bennett continued, ‘CPRE Hampshire are not against providing affordable homes for local people, but the proposals set out in the Eastleigh Local Plan cannot be justified or supported by the evidence presented, and are not supported by many local people.’

We are hoping to have the opportunity to make a more detailed objection to the proposed plan at the Examination.

CPRE Hampshire Chairman Dee Haas added, 'Of course one of Eastleigh Borough Council's primary responsibilities is to provide homes for local people but the benefits of our green spaces to the community's health and well-bring can never be undervalued. It is also a key responsibility to keep some precious countryside for future generations to share and enjoy.'


 

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