Thanks to everybody who opposed Eastleigh Borough Council’s destructive plan to build over 5,000 houses in the north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, the independent Planning Inspector has told the council to delete this part of the Local Plan.
“We told the Council over and over again that the plan was not based on evidence
and that it would be destructive for wildlife and our community. The campaign Against Destructive Development (ADD) did an amazing job demonstrating the problems to the Planning Inspector and we are so relieved that she listened.” Cllr Gin Tidridge.
- December 2015: Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) published its “Issues and Options” document, showing Options B and C that would build over 5,000 dwellings on fields north of Fair Oak and Bishopstoke, in its proposed Local Plan 2016-36. A new road was also part of this plan that would separate Upper Barn Copse from Stoke Park Woods and Crowdhill Copse, cross Bishopstoke Lane and come out on the Allbrook/Brambridge Road.
- March 2016: Local residents, deeply concerned about Option B & C, from Bishopstoke, Allbrook, Fair Oak, Colden Common and surrounding areas launched the campaign Action Against Destructive Development (ADD).
- July 2017: EBC made Options B and C an integral part of the Local Plan. The Woodland Trust, CPRE Hampshire the countryside charity, Campaign for Better Transport and the Angling Trust were amongst the organisations stating concerns.
- December 2017: five Councillors, including the Mayor, resigned from the Eastleigh Liberal Democrat group citing major reservations about this part of the Local Plan.
- December 2017: Local Plan was passed by full Council despite members of the public and parish councils explaining how destructive it would be for the community and wildlife. All 3 of Bishopstoke’s then Councillors (all LibDem), Anne Winstanley, Victoria Parkinson and Trevor Mignot, voted for the Local Plan with the SGO.
- May 2018: all three Bishopstoke LibDem Eastleigh Borough Councillors lost their seats to the Bishopstoke Independents: Councillors Louise Parker-Jones, Gin Tidridge and Ray Dean.
- Summer 2018: EBC sent the Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate.
- December 2019: Planning Inspector held hearings at Botley Grange Hotel. ADD, Bishopstoke’s Independent Councillors, The Woodland Trust and many other organisations explained their concerns. EBC was challenged to show evidence supporting its decisions.
- April 2020: Planning Inspector informs EBC that because of lack of evidence, the Strategic Growth Option (SGO, the part of the plan that proposed the 5,000+ house development and road to link the development to the B3335 at Highbridge) should be deleted from the Local Plan.
- 27th May 2021: EBC will consider the revised Local Plan (minus the SGO) at a full council meeting to resubmit to the Inspector.
Although the SGO has been deleted from EBC’s Local Plan 2016-36, planning legislation requires that it is revised within 5 years of the date of adoption. EBC has already stated that revision will commence towards the end of 2021.
EBC may attempt to include the 5,000+ dwellings in the north of Fair Oak and Bishopstoke in their next Local Plan. We cannot afford to be complacent. The South Hampshire Green Belt project may help, but we all need to look out for future threats.
Promoted by and on behalf of: Louise Anne Parker-Jones, Gin Tidridge, Ray Dean, Dave Francis, Louise Hillier-Wheal, Anne Dean, Susan Lynch and Ralph Candy. Postal Address: Bishopstoke Independents, The IncuHive Space, Mayflower Close, Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 4AR.