Islanders launch fight against housing plans

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes

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RESIDENTS are on the warpath to stop large-scale development on Hayling Island.

A public meeting has been organised to fight against housing targets which would see almost 600 new homes built on the island over the next 15 years.

Residents say the island’s busy roads – especially the Hayling Bridge and Havant Road – will simply not be able to cope.

It comes as Havant Borough Council has formally adopted the housing targets after they were approved by the government.

Hayling Island is set to get 597 homes out of 6,300 across the borough – with Emsworth getting 752, Havant 1,825, Leigh Park 1,021 and Waterlooville 1,901.

More than 430 people have already signed up to a Facebook group calling for an end to large-scale housing plans.

Paul Fisher, chairman of Hayling Island Residents’ Association, said even though the target is 600, it could mean around 1,000 homes are built due to infilling.

Top of his agenda is stopping the loss of green space at Goldring Close, which is a site earmarked for houses.

Mr Fisher said: ‘We just feel the island cannot take any more housing.

‘We accept there will be some extra housing. It’s the fact it will be uncontrolled.

‘The track record of Havant Borough Council as far as putting houses on the island has been uncontrolled.

‘There is a strength of feeling that the planners have got it wrong.’

He added: ‘There’s no employment on the island. It really is ticking boxes, putting numbers in the boxes and burying your head in the sand.’

But Councillor David Guest, in charge of planning, said: ‘There will not be any rubberstamping. Every application will be considered on its merits, whether the road infrastructure is right.

‘When each application comes forward it will be looked at properly, considering all people’s points of view.’

Andrew Biltcliffe, acting planning policy and urban design manager, said: ‘The Core Strategy gives potential overall numbers of homes for the five areas of the borough, the lowest number being in Hayling Island as the council recognises that the development opportunities on the island are more limited than the other four areas. Nevertheless, new homes will be needed on Hayling Island to meet the needs of the local area.’

The meeting takes place on Tuesday at Hayling Island Community Centre at 7.30pm.

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