Residents turn out in force to voice worries about more housing

HUNDREDS of people packed out a community centre to voice their concerns about over-development.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2016, 12:06 pm

The Milton Neighbourhood Planning Forum, supported by the Keep Milton Green campaign group, invited people living or working in the area to the Milton Village Hall yesterday afternoon to view and comment on their ideas for the future.

And people attended in their droves to raise their fears about congestion, over development and plans for the former St James’ Hospital site in Locksway Road, the University of Portsmouth site in Furze Lane and the former Kingston Prison site in Milton Road.

Chairman of the planning forum Rod Bailey said: ‘I’m really pleased that so many people turned up.

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‘They came for two reasons; firstly there is so much housing. The problem we have at the moment is that you can’t get your kids into schools, and you can’t get a doctor’s appointment, and the idea of having more families here is going to make things worse.

‘The other reason is there’s not enough green space.’

He said the group was not against development but its members wanted it planned correctly, with proper infrastructure in place before it happened.

He said: ‘We just want some balance. We are using localism to ensure that land is reused for a sustainable purpose.’

Kevin Doyle, from Keep Milton Green, said: ‘People are worried.

‘We have green open space and that’s what we want to protect.

‘The more housing construction there is, the worse this area gets for people in terms of amenities.

‘What we want to see is sensitive and sensible housing, especially at St James’.’

Milton residents Jim and Charlotte Roberts, plus their daughter Charlotte Wright, 28, and her two daughters Kitty, two and Etta, seven weeks, were at the exhibition.

Jim, of Moorings Way, said he was angry at the amount of development that had been allowed, which has caused congestion and parking problems.

He said: ‘We are the second most densely populated city outside of London and yet they keep on allowing development and making terrible decisions.’

The Milton Neighbourhood Planning Forum will be using the responses from the event to form its community-led neighbourhood plan.

This will be independently examined if it is endorsed by a majority of 51 per cent at a local referendum.

Then it would become part of statutory planning framework which developers must regard when submitting planning applications.

It is expected to be completed in 2017 and will have a 15-year life.