FOR its 'Local Plan 2011-2036' Eastleigh Borough Council’s Councillor House is pushing for Option B & C to develop the area north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak with 6,000 new homes, equivalent to twice the size of Bishops Waltham or 3½ times that of Colden Common.
The plan is completely dependent on a new £30 million road involving council borrowing.
Greatly increased traffic volumes will cross the River Itchen before being funnelled, in rapid succession, over the Itchen Navigation and under the London/Bournemouth railway line at Allbrook.
This low bridge, narrow and prone to flooding, is frequently obstructed by over-height vehicles but the councillor is evasive about how to solve this problem.
Costing for the obvious option – raising the bridge and the railway tracks and compensating rail commuters – is not forthcoming.
This traffic will then join the link road to the M3, adding to the already long queues along its entire length each morning rush hour.
The traffic congestion this new development will generate needs to be contrasted with the transport benefits of the alternative scheme, Option D & E, the proposal to build on land between Allington Lane and Burnetts Lane north of the M27.
This area has much better transport links, with its proximity to the proposed light rail system and new railway station at Allington Lane and potential for a new M27 motorway junction.
Along with the long-awaited Chickenhall Lane extension road, these measures would fulfil the Chancellor’s stated aim of reducing congestion, so could attract recently announced government finance for future road and infrastructure spending, which Option B & C could not.
Also, since part of this housing is to support the overspill from Southampton it is more logical to locate it here than at the Eastleigh Borough’s most northerly edge.
Option D & E meets government housing targets, is best placed, least unpopular, least environmentally damaging – and, coincidentally, adjoins Councillor House’s ward.
If there are problems associated with Option D & E he should say what they are and how they outweigh the problems associated with alternative schemes.
Ian Shankland, Colden Common.