CAMPAIGNERS are renewing their fight once again to prevent more than 1,000 homes being built near Botley.
Botley Parish Action Group is appealing against a judge’s decision to rule in favour of a council that allowed 1,400 homes to be built on land at Boorley Green, near Botley.
The group is submitting written arguments to the courts and if that proves unsuccessful could return to court for a further hearing.
Campaigners want planning permission to be withdrawn until the site can be examined along with the rest of Eastleigh’s Local Plan, a blueprint for future housing in the borough, by an independent inspector.
They have previously argued that it was unfair for Eastleigh Borough Council to use the fact that it had failed to ensure a five-year supply of land for development and to ensure a current Local Plan was in place in time to justify its decision to grant the homes plans.
They also argued the council had breached European law on environmental impact assessment and that other sites are more sustainable.
But their application was not accepted by a High Court judge at a hearing in May.
Following legal advice, they have decided to launch an appeal.
“I can just trust in the legal process, there’s nowhere else we can go,” said BPAG chairman Sue Grinham, pictured below right.
“We may still not win, but at least we have tried everything we can do.”
So far the campaign has cost £25,000 in expenses, but at the previous hearing council costs of £5,000 were also awarded against BPAG.
The written appeal could cost campaigners up to an extra £7,000 and much more if they decide to apply for a further formal appeal hearing depending on the outcome of the written appeal.
So far they have sufficient funds from residents.
“I don’t think anybody can believe how much we have raised – it proves how angry people are,” said Mrs Grinham.
Campaigners fear that the development would swamp Boorley Green, change Botley and increase traffic with no infrastructure to support it.
Council leader Keith House, below left, has said the development would improve Boorley Green, bringing facilities and making it more sustainable while helping protect countryside gaps in other areas.
He said: “The Local Plan has been delayed due to the county council withdrawing a major site from the plan and then, a year later, reinstating it.
“BPAG continuing to pursue this through the courts, despite two judges agreeing with the council, just puts more greenfield sites around Botley at risk of development, given the pressure on the Planning Inspectorate to approve housing applications.
“Common sense needs to now prevail, with BPAG accepting the democratic decisions of the council and the decisions of the courts.”