Fears for A3023 on Hayling Island grow after hundreds of homes added to Havant master plan

HAVANT’S council has been accused of trying to ‘build a city with the infrastructure of a village’ after its updated Local Plan was unveiled.

By ron Melton
Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 6:21 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:33 pm
The beginning of Hayling Island's arterial A3023 road - which campaigners have long-feared will suffer from development. Picture: Google Street View

The document published last night outlines sites earmarked for the construction of 10,231 new homes across the borough between now and 2036.

Campaigners have called it ‘unsustainable’ in its allocation of 942 new homes on Hayling Island – a drastic increase on the 535 cited in the council’s 2017 Draft Local Plan.

If that many homes are built without resident-led mitigation to remedy the clogged A3023 – the one route on and off the island – there is fear the road will eventually grind to a halt.

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Dave Parham, of the Save Our Island group and the Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group

Dave Parham, chairman of the action group Save Our Island, said: ‘We walked out of an infrastructure meeting last week on the basis the A3023 cannot sustain this kind of development. 

‘Everywhere else in the borough, they can build new roads – but the A3023 is a fixed item and it cannot be changed.’

He added: ‘We will be making deputations that the Hayling portion of this plan must stop.’ 

Mr Parham was one of 12 members of the Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group who staged a walk-out from a meeting with councillors at the Plaza in Havant last week. 

It came after they were shown the results of a simulation into the A3023, which allegedly projected the single-access road would be able to cope with newly-allocated development. 

But Mr Parham and others disagree – and are calling on Havant Borough Council (HBC) to allow island residents in the group to help set parameters for a second survey, which they believe would bode more realistic results. 

The walk-out came after resident members were denied any say on the parameters, despite allegations they were promised an input when the group was assembled in 2017.

HBC leader Michael Wilson denied the group’s terms for launching ‘actively referred’ to this and called the walk-out a ‘minor stunt’.

Mr Parham said: ‘We have to take steps back and go forward with the infrastructure plan in the way we agreed two years ago.’

Making up a chunk of the updated Local Plan’s allocation for Hayling Island, 390 homes have been earmarked for construction at Rook Farm – with access off the A3023. 

In addition, allocations at Sinah Lane and land north of Tournerbury Lane have risen by 85 homes and plans for land off Elm Grove and Mengham Road cite potential for 22. 

The contentious sites off Long Copse Lane in Emsworth and Lower Road between Havant and Bedhampton are also included, with a joint allocation of 310 homes. 

HBC has said work on the Local Plan is now less about whether residents want homes, but how they want them – thanks to pressure to build from government.

Councillor Leah Turner, cabinet lead for communities, development and housing, said: ‘The Local Plan is the strategy that will underpin how we achieve the homes, jobs and infrastructure that our residents require. Crucially, this up-to-date Local Plan will mean we can protect the borough against speculative development and avoid government intervention which could impose more development than we believe to be sustainable.  

‘It has been an extensive process to get to this point. Importantly, we’ve been able to develop the Local Plan with residents’ input. We’ve listened to the feedback from our consultation last year and have made a number of minor changes. These will now go before all council members for a decision.’  

Known as the Pre-Submission Local Plan, the document will appear before councillors for approval at an extraordinary full council meeting at 5.30pm on January 30.

A number of local community groups are expected to make deputations at the meeting. 

To read and download the updated plan, visit tinyurl.com/y8zvb5m2