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Havant Borough Council pledge to voice infrastructure needs to government

Forty Acres at Bedhampton Picture: Malcolm Wells (160712-1991)

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 17th November 2016

Story by
Danny Randon

 

LEADERS at Havant Borough Council have vowed that they will get the best deal possible when planning for new homes.

More than 150 people met the council cabinet yesterday to voice their concerns over the Local Plan.

Some 11,250 homes must be built in Havant by 2036 to meet government targets amidst a national need for housing.

However, the cabinet agreed that greater infrastructure, particularly better roads and more health services, must be provided with the homes.

Council leader Cllr Michael Cheshire said that the council will lobby MPs Alan Mak and George Hollingbery, as well as housing minister Gavin Barwell, to acknowledge these requirements.

He said: ‘We are doing our level best to communicate with people with the ultimate power in central government.

‘This is at the top of the agenda in the borough, and this cabinet is also trying to ensure that what we get is the very best we can get.’

Recommendations for the Local Plan Housing Statement were agreed unanimously by the cabinet.

Councillors will now debate and vote on the plan during the next meeting of the full council on 7th December.

Both residents and councillors argued that several of the proposed sites, particularly in Bedhampton and Hayling Island, are currently unsustainable for development.

Cllr Claire Satchwell, of the Hayling East ward, said that she had received ‘hundreds of emails’ from residents expressing fear over the strain that extra housing could place on the island’s roads and amenities.

She said: ‘What is clear and common is genuine concern of infrastructure and detrimental affect that this development could have.’

Robert Tutton, of West Bedhampton Residents Association, argued that the proposed site at Forty Acres ‘fails the sustainability test’ as a key location for the foraging and roosting of waders and Brent geese.

He said: ‘It would be folly for the council to consider the early release of Forty Acres without the prior approval of Natural England.’

Cllr David Guest, cabinet lead for economy, planning and prosperity, said: ‘We have carefully listened to feedback from residents, businesses, community groups and stakeholders and we now need to follow this up to ensure the essential infrastructure the borough needs to support the future development is provided alongside the housing.’

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