Hayling residents unite to oppose housing proposal

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THERE was only room to stand at a meeting as hundreds of people turned up to oppose a housing scheme.

A public meeting took place at the Hayling Island Community Centre last night, and around 400 people attended.

Residents were making sure their voices were heard as they spoke against government plans to build 597 new homes on the island over the next 15 years.

A combination of greenfield and brownfield sites have been identified as potential areas where extra homes could be placed – residents argue there is not enough infrastructure to cope.

Bill Farnham, of St Leonard’s Avenue, has lived on the island for 31 years and attended the meeting.

The 67-year-old said: ‘I’m campaigning against the plans because I’m worried about the over-crowding it will create and the excessive demand on the infrastructure, such as schools and health centres.

‘We are an island and that is how we should stay – we don’t want it to turn into Portsea island.’

And Sue Hucks, of Dances Way, raised environmental issues.

She said: ‘The field behind my garden is a haven to all sorts of animals, and some of these are reserved species.

‘If they build on that land, and others like it, they will lose their habitats.

‘There are Brent Geese, frogs, toads, slow worms and loads of other animals that need to be protected.’

Paul Fisher, chairman of Hayling Island Residents’ Association, conducted the meeting and spoke of plans to get a petition together.

A show of hands revealed no one at the meeting was for the proposals.

He said: ‘There are already too many cars going in and out of the island, and these extra homes could mean longer journeys.

‘We are going to put a petition together and talk to Havant Borough Council to make sure we get the wording correct.’

There are eight sites, which are being looked at for development – Station Road, Goldring Close, Elm Grove, land near the Rose in June pub, Beachlands, Sinah Lane, Rook Farm and Church Road.

Consultation over this land will be carried out over the next two years to see if the development could take place.