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Fight over future of Langstone field as owners confirm talks with housing developers – despite Havant council’s no-build covenant

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 27th October 2018
Story by Byron Melton


CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight controversial plans for housing on land historically placed off-limits by the council.

It comes as the future of Southmere Field is thrust into uncertainty after its owner confirmed they are in talks with residential developers.

The nine-acre Langstone Road site, between Havant and Hayling Island, is protected by a no-build covenant imposed by Havant Borough Council in 1980.

Its owner Fasset Limited said no sale of the land is being advertised but admitted it is trying to get the site included in the council’s local plan.

Havant campaigner and historian, Ann Griffiths, said any development on the site would be a ‘disaster for the wider community’.

She said: ‘Langstone has a very strong community with no means to fight any proposed development of the field’

Dave Parham, who heads up the Save Our Island group said any development would cause traffic problems on the single road in and out of Hayling Island.

He said: ‘Any development would impact traffic on the A3023 so we have to be extremely careful with planning’

Havant Friends of the Earth, Ray Cobbett, who said Southmere Field is a ‘rather special place’.

He said: ‘This is a natural habitat and we are rapidly running out of these because we’re replacing them with housing.

‘Somebody on the council needs to put their foot down because we need to draw the line, but nobody knows where that is.’

Langstone Estates is managing the site on behalf of Fasset. Head of property Claire Ray said: ‘We have been approached by various companies over the years that would like to develop the land.

‘We have asked HBC to include it in the full local plan, and we are waiting to see if it is when it is released.’

Council leader Michael Wilson has said he is ‘unhappy’ about the authority lifting covenants it has issued itself.

He said: ‘At the moment we are awaiting an assessment as to what infrastructure is required for Hayling and Langstone, and it would be premature at this stage to allow more building.’

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