AN MP’s intervention could help stop a wave of housebuilding that is threatening to eat up the countryside.
George Hollingbery, the MP for Waterlooville and the Horndean area, is calling a planning summit and bringing in an expert planning barrister to explain to residents how controversial housing applications can be legitimately refused.
Mr Hollingbery is backing residents in their bid to stop overdevelopment, including a controversial bid to build 135 homes at White Dirt Farm, one of the last green spaces between Horndean and Clanfield.
He has written a letter to East Hampshire District Council, saying the development would greatly increase congestion on semi-rural roads.
And he has written to more than 10,000 homes across the area, inviting them to a planning summit on October 17.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘We have a housing crisis in the South of England and we must meet housing need but such developments should not adversely affect the community in other ways i.e. they must be “sustainable”.
‘My view is that many of the plans coming up in our area do not meet this criteria.
‘It is therefore our job to ensure that each planning application is judged robustly by the planning committee and that officers and councillors are given as much information as possible about the definition of sustainable development so they have good reasons to refuse applications on sustainability grounds which will then stand up at appeal.’
He added: ‘There is now a good body of examples where developments have been rejected by councils in a similar situation and I have passed these to the council so that they can be used as precedent.’
Suzanne Ahern, 50, of Nickleby Road, Clanfield, said: ‘My personal feeling is enough is enough.
‘From a sustainability point of view, I really welcome George Hollingbery coming on board. We haven’t got a train station, we haven’t got great roads, and drainage is really bad. We are not geared up to being a small town.’
The meeting will take place at Barton Hall, Horndean Technology College, from 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
People can register their attendance beforehand by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to give organisers an idea of numbers.