Eastleigh Borough Council row in Hampshire County Council over plans for 1,000 homes in Hedge End

Council row over plans for 1,000 homes

Council row over plans for 1,000 homes

First published in Eastleigh
Last updated

A MAJOR blueprint for housing in the Hampshire countryside has been thrown into chaos amid a row over a huge plot of land.

Up to 1,000 homes were due to be built at Woodhouse Lane in Hedge End as part of a far-reaching plan for development being produced by Eastleigh Borough Council.

But those plans look to have been derailed after Hampshire County Council, which owns the land, said it was not releasing it for housing. Now there are fears the borough’s local plan could be pushed back by a year – costing the taxpayer £50,000 in fresh consultation fees.

Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House said green field sites that appeared to have escaped the bulldozer now faced being pushed back into the firing line for development.

However, Hampshire County Council said it informed the borough council this land was not available a year ago.

Cllr House said: “If we have to find land that is more sensitive and more controversial, that’s something that people have to hold the county council responsible for.

“It’s deeply unfortunate that we can’t give our community the certainty that we expected to give them in terms of protecting vulnerable sites across the borough from building and we’ll work as quickly as we can to give them that certainty.”

He said he thought the decision was political – that Conservative councillors did not want to allow controversial or unpopular developments close to this year’s county elections – a claim refuted by council leader Ken Thornber.

He said the land off Woodhouse Lane was part of the council’s farming estate and farmed by a tenant farmer, that the land was not acquired for development purposes and there are no plans for its release for development.

He said a letter was sent to the chief executive of the Eastleigh Borough Council in January 2012 detailing sites available for development, repeating that the Woodhouse Lane site was not one of them.

Cllr House said that although the letter was received, at the same time he was told by Cllr Thornber that he might have to change his mind.

He added that the county council had employed planning consultants showing how the land could be developed at Woodhouse Lane and its Cabinet had agreed the land could come forward for development.

“We had every indication that the county council was prepared to release the land up until the most recent correspondence just before Christmas,” he said.

“Our reasonable expectation was that the land would come forward.”

Comments (5)

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4:32pm Thu 24 Jan 13

richieroo says...

& is it any wonder the country is in such a state, if the councils aren't talking or listening to each other!?!.
& is it any wonder the country is in such a state, if the councils aren't talking or listening to each other!?!. richieroo
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Thu 24 Jan 13

ameliaS says...

Seems that HCC was talking but Eastleigh had selective hearing!
Seems that HCC was talking but Eastleigh had selective hearing! ameliaS
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Thu 24 Jan 13

one in a million says...

perhaps they can build on fords? got to house the economic migrants somewhere....nimby nimby....
perhaps they can build on fords? got to house the economic migrants somewhere....nimby nimby.... one in a million
  • Score: 0

8:27am Fri 25 Jan 13

Forest Resident says...

It wouldn't surprise me if someone at county was expecting a nice backhander for this deal but pulled the plug when it failed to materialise. It's simply indisputable that more housing is needed and soon, both for social and economic reasons.
It wouldn't surprise me if someone at county was expecting a nice backhander for this deal but pulled the plug when it failed to materialise. It's simply indisputable that more housing is needed and soon, both for social and economic reasons. Forest Resident
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 25 Jan 13

ghunter717 says...

I feel this report is a little incomplete.
Some more facts.

Was EBC advised in writing by HCC that the land was not available in January 2012.....YES
Is there huge public opposition to the proposed use of this Greenfield Local Gap site (HE1) in EBC's Local Plan 2011 - 2029... YES
Is the site sustainable..... NO
Was the close by Boorley Green site (BO1) for 1,400 dwellings chosen by EBC over Allington Lane in a flawed poorly supported Opinion poll politically motivated....? Many suspect it was.
Were residents consulted over the chice of the Woodhouse Lane site... NO
I feel this report is a little incomplete. Some more facts. Was EBC advised in writing by HCC that the land was not available in January 2012.....YES Is there huge public opposition to the proposed use of this Greenfield Local Gap site (HE1) in EBC's Local Plan 2011 - 2029... YES Is the site sustainable..... NO Was the close by Boorley Green site (BO1) for 1,400 dwellings chosen by EBC over Allington Lane in a flawed poorly supported Opinion poll politically motivated....? Many suspect it was. Were residents consulted over the chice of the Woodhouse Lane site... NO ghunter717
  • Score: 0

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