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Eastleigh residents protest over plans for 1,000 homes at beauty spot

Protesters at Stoneham Park campaign against the proposed development of more than 1,000 homes in the area.

Protesters at Stoneham Park campaign against the proposed development of more than 1,000 homes in the area.

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

ANGRY residents have demonstrated at a beauty spot earmarked for more than 1,000 houses.

About 50 people went to Stoneham Park in Eastleigh to raise awareness that the greenfield land is under threat from the bulldozers.

The 61-acre site, near Chestnut Avenue, has appeared in Eastleigh Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan as a possible area to build 1,300 new homes.

Campaigners say it would lead to traffic chaos and destroy one of the last green gaps between Eastleigh and Southampton.

Protest organiser Pat Ford said she was happy with the turnout, but disappointed that more Eastleigh borough councillors did not turn up.

She said: “We asked all 44 councillors on the borough – five replied, 39 ignored us and none came.

“I think it’s disgusting.

“But it was a really good turnout.”

Eastleigh North’s Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Thomas, also the chairman of the council’s Eastleigh Local Area Committee, said: “Councillors have many commitments and in my case I did not actually receive an invitation.

However, in this case the local plan has got a long way to go and any representations would be more useful when made directly to the council.”

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The leader of the council’s Conservative group, Councillor Godfrey Olson, said that he had been unable to attend.

He said: “I had been to a similar event three or four weeks beforehand when Mrs Ford took me around.

“I am totally opposed to building on that land for so many reasons.

It is a lovely rural setting, it will destroy the park, it will create traffic and it takes away recreational space.”

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