THE likely locations of thousands of new homes across the Havant borough are set to be finalised after years of discussions.
Council leaders are poised to approve a crucial planning document for submission to the government.
The document includes sites to accommodate around 2,800 homes over the next 13 years, with 187 on course for Emsworth, 1,315 for Havant and Bedhampton, 343 for Hayling Island, 595 for Leigh Park and 360 for Waterlooville.
But there has been anger as the council is set to alter a legal agreement made to protect the gap between Havant and Emsworth.
The agreement was made many years ago with landowners to keep agricultural land across a large swathe of the former Southleigh estate.
Andrew Norton, from Warblington and Denvilles Residents’ Association, said people were ‘enormously concerned’ about the loss of the gap.
He said: ‘We are strongly against the infilling of the rural gap between us and Emsworth. Inevitably we are heading towards a Solent city that we used to talk about in the 70s and 80s.’
He said the extra development would put massive pressure on the north south routes – Southleigh Road, New Lane, Park Road, North Street in Emsworth and Stein Road in Southbourne.
The allocations plan will go out for public comment from October 11 to November 22 before being submitted to the government in January.
Councillor David Guest, deputy leader, said changing the legal agreement on the gap was necessary to allow around 200 homes to be built off Bartons Road and was not about allowing wholesale development across the gap.
Regarding the allocations plan, he added: ‘This will provide a defence against rogue applications from developers on sites not included in the plan.’
However, he said developers could still potentially build houses anywhere if it was sustainable.
He quoted sites such as Goldring Close, on Hayling, where the government’s planning inspector overruled the council’s decision to refuse 131 homes. The inspector ignored the fact it was not included in the draft allocations plan.
Cllr Guest added: ‘I fear it may happen elsewhere where sites come forward.
‘Goldring Close was a shining example of where it goes wrong.’