Petition reaches 4,000 in bid to stop Hayling Island homes plan

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MORE than 4,000 people on Hayling Island have called for plans for hundreds of homes to be scrapped.

Residents have signed the petition in their droves at local shops and post offices.

The petition, in eight volumes, will be presented to Havant Borough Council’s top officials, including chief executive Sandy Hopkins and Councillor David Guest, who oversees planning in the borough.

Residents say they will march with placards from Havant bus station to the Public Service Plaza at midday on October 31.

The petition calls for a review of the council’s decision to allocate 597 new homes to Hayling by 2026.

The homes are part of the council’s planning blueprint which sets out an overall 15-year housing target of 6,300 new homes to be built in the borough.

Under the plans Emsworth would get 752 homes, Havant 1,825, Leigh Park 1,021 and Waterlooville 1,901

Hayling residents say the island’s already congested roads and bridge could not cope if hundreds of new homes were built.

Paul Fisher, chairman of Hayling Island Residents’ Association, said: ‘We started in June and we have now got 4,000 signatures.

‘It’s brilliant. It’s a cause people feel so strongly about.

‘It’s captured the imagination of the island.’

Under new national rules regarding petitions, a full council debate must be held if more than 1,500 residents sign a petition.

A date for the debate has not yet been set by the council.

Mr Fisher added: ‘We are challenging the plan relating to Hayling.

‘We feel the infrastructure issues on Hayling are unique and they need to be reviewed before any large-scale development is agreed on Hayling Island.’

Hayling Cllr Andy Lenaghan said the council was faced with a balancing act in light of families needing new homes.

He said: ‘Obviously nobody wants to see developments take place but on the other hand we have got 5,000 people on the housing list.

‘We have got families that require housing.

‘We have to cater for the need.

‘Hayling has got to take some share of the housing, whether that’s 600, it may be excessive.

‘I agree with the residents that the infrastructure is probably not in place especially with highways and health.’

He added: ‘I think the debate needs to happen so the residents can see how this figure was arrived at.’