Election candidates vow to limit new homes on former naval airbase

BATTLEGROUND Candidates are fighting to win the Lee-on-the-Solent by-election, and the building of homes on HMS Daedalus, is a hot topic
BATTLEGROUND Candidates are fighting to win the Lee-on-the-Solent by-election, and the building of homes on HMS Daedalus, is a hot topic
Frank Judd, MP for Portsmouth North talks to some people who took part in a protest march through Portsmouth.

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STOPPING huge numbers of houses being built on a former naval airfield has become the main debate in the run-up to a council by-election.

Controversial plans will see more homes built at HMS Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent.

But candidates running for the Hampshire County Council seat say they will do everything they can to limit the number of homes.

Tory Graham Burgess, who is already deputy leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘People are very concerned about HMS Daedalus, and I’m pleased to confirm there will not be any more than 200 houses there, as the area couldn’t cope if there were.

‘The plans, by the South East Economic Development Agency, have been sent back because they were incorrectly filled out, but I will be battling to make sure that’s the case, and also to ensure £3m is spent on Newgate Lane so the road’s capable of carrying the extra traffic the homes will bring.’

Lib Dem candidate Angela Whitbread, who was a county councillor for Hardway ward for 12 years, added: ‘I will fight to stop any homes being built at Daedalus until new infrastructure is built.

‘Our roads can’t cope, and £3m on Newgate Lane won’t solve that, our schools are full, and we haven’t enough doctors’ surgeries. Until those things are in place, I’ll be fighting to stop new houses there. This is a lovely place to live and it mustn’t be spoilt.’

Labour’s Dr Graham Giles, who stood at last year’s general election for the Gosport seat won by Tory MP Caroline Dinenage, said: ‘The homes could be very damaging to the environment and to the local area’s infrastructure. But the government has said it wants to sell the site to the highest bidder. We must work to stop that, otherwise very few people will have any say over what happens there. In the Labour Party we are making sure we listen to what people want. In areas like Rowner and Seafield, people rely on community resources like Sure Start centres, libraries and community care sites. I will try to help rescue those sites.’

The Lee-on-the-Solent seat has become available after Tory Margaret Snaith-Tempia stepped down from her role. Elections are taking place in Portsmouth, Havant, Chichester, Winchester and East Hampshire tomorrow. Voters will choose local councillors, and all of the UK will decide whether to change the voting system from First Past the Post to the Alternative Vote.