Protesters 'betrayed' over plans to build new homes near Botley

Protesters 'betrayed' over homes

Residents marching through the streets of Botley last year.

An artist’s impression of a housing estate in the new development.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Protesters say they feel let down after another bid to prevent more than 1,000 homes being built on countryside near Botley failed.

Botley Parish Action Group (BPAG) and the Botley Park Golfers had launched a joint appeal in the High Court against a decision to allow 1,400 homes to be built on land at Boorley Green, near Botley.

But a top judge has ruled in favour of the council that granted it.

And now campaigners must pay £5,000 of council costs awarded against them on top of their own £25,000 expenses.

Protesters said they felt let down and betrayed by Eastleigh Borough Council.

But BPAG revealed it is seeking urgent legal advice on whether there are grounds for an appeal.

This was campaigners’ second appeal for a judicial review of Eastleigh Borough councillors’ decision.

BPAG chairman Sue Grinham said the self-funded pressure group was “extremely disappointed”, but the court could only consider matters of law.

Campaigners had argued Eastleigh Borough Council had failed to ensure a five-year supply of land for development and to ensure it had a current Local Plan in place in time.

They felt it was unfair that the council was justifying its decision through these “failures”.

They also argued the council had breached European law on environmental impact assessment and that other sites are more sustainable. Campaigners wanted the development tested as part of public examination of the Local Plan.

Councillors approved the plans in February last year for the 1,400 homes that had sparked a mass protest march on the streets of Botley.

Protesters fear the development will swamp Boorley Green, change Botley and increase traffic with no infrastructure to support it.

Mrs Grinham said: “This is going to have an effect on future generations.

“We feel extremely let down – the council has betrayed the people of Botley.”

Chris Tapp, of Botley Park Golfers, said the council relying on its own “failures” as justification was “a travesty of proper, responsible planning, for which the council should be ashamed”.

Council leader Keith House said the development would improve Boorley Green, bringing facilities and making it more sustainable while helping protect gaps in other areas.

Cllr House said when told it needed a five-year land supply the council acted quickly and the Local Plan would have been in place by now had Hampshire County Council not taken its site out.

He added that the inspector examining the Local Plan would be trying to find more sites to put in rather than take out.

“They’re clutching at straws. I understand their concerns and fears, but the council has to act in the best interests of the wider community.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:22am Wed 7 May 14

Saint Botley says...

For anyone currently falling for Keith House's line about protecting gaps in other areas, I urge you to check out his plans for the borough. This is the tip of the iceberg.
For anyone currently falling for Keith House's line about protecting gaps in other areas, I urge you to check out his plans for the borough. This is the tip of the iceberg. Saint Botley
  • Score: 18

11:25am Wed 7 May 14

one in a million says...

It isn't just Botley residents who feel let down and betrayed by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Their whole plan to chuck thousands of homes in the borough without upgrading the infrastructure sufficiently is going to turn the borough into an even worse place to live than it is now with its gridlock, crowded schools, rubbish public transport and inadequate healthcare provision.

Is it because there are £££ to be made in building new houses? I do hope those Fib dem coffers are examined very closely!
It isn't just Botley residents who feel let down and betrayed by Eastleigh Borough Council. Their whole plan to chuck thousands of homes in the borough without upgrading the infrastructure sufficiently is going to turn the borough into an even worse place to live than it is now with its gridlock, crowded schools, rubbish public transport and inadequate healthcare provision. Is it because there are £££ to be made in building new houses? I do hope those Fib dem coffers are examined very closely! one in a million
  • Score: 16

2:55pm Wed 7 May 14

bobby the crane says...

Get A life you Guys, it has been granted & you can not change it
Get A life you Guys, it has been granted & you can not change it bobby the crane
  • Score: -18

6:46pm Wed 7 May 14

skeptik says...

Raises a chuckle with me when you hear the like of Badger Farm estate in Winchester moaning about new builds - as a youngster the land it is on was indeed a farm - we watched this poorly built estate go up, to much protest, now they and estates like them join in with the protests!
Raises a chuckle with me when you hear the like of Badger Farm estate in Winchester moaning about new builds - as a youngster the land it is on was indeed a farm - we watched this poorly built estate go up, to much protest, now they and estates like them join in with the protests! skeptik
  • Score: 0

12:08am Thu 29 May 14

TR1996 says...

As a resident of Botley I am very angry that the BPAG spent all this money - Money that WE paid for as a community - which could of been spent on infrastructure.
As a resident of Botley I am very angry that the BPAG spent all this money - Money that WE paid for as a community - which could of been spent on infrastructure. TR1996
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree