CAMPAIGN groups in Eastleigh are joining forces to protest against two developments.
Residents say the town’s heritage is at risk from building schemes to extend Sainsbury’s in the town centre and create more than 1,000 homes at Stoneham Park.
Although the two developments are completely separate and have been put forward from different quarters, protesters are hoping a joint campaign will help to raise awareness about both plans.
The groups will be tying ribbons to trees threatened by the Sainsbury’s development at a protest this weekend.
Sainsbury’s wants to demolish its existing 30-year-old store in Eastleigh and replace it with a bigger version – in a move they say will create up to 230 jobs.
However, it will also encroach on to 500 square metres of Leigh Road Recreation Ground, described as the “last green lung” in the town centre.
Campaigners will also be telling shoppers and passers-by at the protest about the plans to build 1,300 homes at Stoneham Park, which will include 100 acres of historic parkland.
The area has been earmarked for development in Eastleigh Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan because the council insists more homes are needed to tackle a growing housing waiting list.
Pat Ford , from Save Stoneham Park, said: “They’re both about Eastleigh’s heritage – I hope it will bring it home to people what they’re set to lose. “Development is gradually eating away at the recreation ground in the town and it’s totally wrong and it’s the same at Stoneham Park.All that heritage will be destroyed – when it should be enhanced.”
Residents against proposals that also appeared in Eastleigh council’s Local Plan to move the household waste recycling centre from Woodside Avenue in Eastleigh to open grass land near Stoneycroft Rise, Chandler’s Ford are also expected to be handing out information at the campaign event.
The protest will take place on Saturday from 11.30am at Leigh Road Recreation Ground.
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “With the proposed planting of 13 new, semi-mature, trees on the site there will be a net loss of 31 trees around the site.
“Sainsbury’s is proposing to make a financial contribution to a planting scheme for replacement trees. Eastleigh Borough Council has indicated that a financial contribution, under the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations, could provide an opportunity for a combination of new planting and replacement planting for older urban trees in the town centre.
“Such trees could be planted both within the Recreation Ground and around the towncentre to enhance visual impact.
“In determining the application Eastleigh Borough Council will need to consider if, on balance, the wider regenerative benefits to the town centre and Eastleigh as a whole outweigh other factors.”