Victory for common sense as Eastleigh Local Plan Inspector supports sustainable development

7th April 2020

The Government’s Planning Inspector has examined the Eastleigh Local Plan and concludes that the potentially damaging Borough Council’s Strategic Growth Option would see large tracts of countryside disappear and should be removed.

Eastleigh’s preferred option for 5,300 homes, industrial space and a new road with bridge over the River Itchen, has been deemed unjustified and represents the least sustainable option in terms of transport.

CPRE Hampshire has always maintained that the proposals would amount to huge urban sprawl close to the South Downs National Park, with an unnecessary new road which would contribute to the climate emergency.

Caroline Dibden, Vice Chair of CPRE Hampshire and leader of the countryside charity’s activities in South Hampshire says: “The future for Eastleigh and its communities looks brighter. Common sense has prevailed, and we hope that, in their next Plan review, the borough council will deliver their affordable housing needs in more sustainable locations close to public transport such as rail and other existing facilities. In any event Eastleigh have sufficient other sites to meet their housing needs for well over 10 years.

CPRE Hampshire wants to see development located close to public transport, therefore minimising the need for car use, helping mitigate climate change, and protecting our special landscapes. This is especially the case to meet the needs of young people and the elderly.”

The inspector found the proposed development to be in such close proximity to the South Downs National Park, that there was potential to cause significant harm to this sensitive rural landscape, and a detrimental effect on the communities concerned.

CPRE Hampshire has been an active participant in the development of the Eastleigh Local Plan, alongside campaign group Action Against Destructive Development (ADD) and all the local parish councils.

To view the Planning Inspector’s findings from the Eastleigh Local Plan Examination see the Eastleigh Borough Council website.

Countryside saved at Bishopstoke, Eastleigh
Countryside saved at Bishopstoke, Eastleigh Caroline Dibden
Children climbing in the New Forest