Residents alliance vow to continue fight against housing plan

CAMPAIGNERS have agreed to continue the fight against plans to build 11,300 homes in 20 years.

The ten groups that make up the Havant Borough Residents Alliance met to discuss their next steps in the battle against Havant Borough Council’s Local Plan.

This follows the full council meeting in December in which the Housing Statement was approved with 23 votes for, seven against, and three abstentions.

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Ann Buckley, co-ordinator of the alliance, said: ‘We feel the council has committed itself to more houses than there are sustainable sites in the area.

‘We would like to see more innovation in the way homes are provided, and feel that the current housing plan will not help enough of those who need affordable housing.

‘We have membership from ten organisations, which includes residents associations and environmental groups, and a wide range of expertise. The process has been rushed.’ More than 800 residents responded to a consultation and among the concerns were; the inadequacy of infrastructure, pressure on schools and medical services, insufficient affordable homes, and the potential damage to the environment.

The council has promised it will ensure a comprehensive infrastructure statement is produced, and that it will lobby ministers and local MPs to review the five-year housing supply rule required under planning policies.

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Andrew Norton, from the Warblington and Denvilles Residents Association, said: ‘We severely regret the council’s decision to build on every unprotected greenfield site in the borough – even Grade 1 agricultural land.

‘If this happens, the infrastructure across the borough and all the way from Chichester to Southampton will need a major upgrade to cope with the additional residents projected in the area over the next 20 years.’

Ray Cobbett a member of the alliance with Havant Friends of the Earth, said: ‘At 55 sq km, Havant is one of the smallest boroughs in Hampshire, and one of the most intensively developed.

‘There has to be a limit to growth in order to protect the area’s unique natural assets.’