CAMPAIGNERS opposed to plans to build almost 600 new homes on Hayling Island over the next 15 years have won the right to an informal review.
More than 4,000 people signed a petition calling for a full review of the island’s infrastructure, which residents claim is already under intense pressure and could not cope with the increase in population the new homes will bring.
But at a meeting last night, Havant borough councillors agreed that campaigners should have an informal review with planning officers and Hampshire Highways.
One of the main issues for residents is the congestion, which is particular bad during the holiday season.
They fear the problems in Havant Road will increase massively with the amount of extra cars the anticipated new homes will bring.
The number of homes is laid down in Havant Borough Council’s Core Strategy, a detailed document which took several years to put together and outlines how the borough will look until 2026.
But at last night’s full council meeting Paul Fisher, the chairman of the Residents’ Association, put it to councillors a review was vital.
He said: ‘We accept the council is under extreme pressure from central government to identify and make public its development proposals for the coming years.
‘We also accept that Hayling should contribute to the provision of new housing, which it has done over the past 15 years, during which time 800 new dwellings were built on the island, representing 31 per cent of the borough’s total.
‘It’s clear that many residents in the borough now question whether the council and its officers indeed recognise that Hayling Island has unique infrastructure constraints, that there is a limit to continued residential development on Hayling and whether that limit may soon be reached.’
Council Leader Tony Briggs said the Core Strategy was subject to a series of public consultations and inspected by the government and found to be sound.
He said the transport network was the responsibility of Hampshire County Council and not the borough council.
He added: ‘We could very well go to the county council to ask for a review and I know what they’re going to come back and tell us – that they have already reviewed the infrastructure as part of the Core Strategy which has been supported by a government minister.’
Councillor Mike Fairhurst said there were families in the borough living in ‘intolerably overcrowded conditions’ and new homes are desperately needed.
The planned Hayling homes are part of Havant’s total allocation of 6,300 new homes over the next 15 years.
Under the plans, Emsworth would get 752 homes, Havant 1,825, Leigh Park 1,021 and 1,901
New national rules regarding petitions mean a full council debate must be held if more than 1,500 residents sign a petition.