TWO former Liberal Democrat councillors have sworn allegiance to support a campaign to scrap building thousands of homes in a Hampshire borough.

Independent councillors Steve Sollitt and Sarah Bain have given their formal support to Action Against Destructive Development (ADD) – the group set up to fight Options B and C of the emerging Local Plan which involves plans to build thousands of new homes in ancient woodland in the borough.

As previously reported in the Echo, civic chiefs in Eastleigh decided to choose an area to the north and east of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak as the preferred location for a new development which could see more than 5,200 new homes, shops, schools, open spaces and a new access road north of Allbrook, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak built.

Cllr Sollitt has been a councillor in Eastleigh for 19 years and Cllr Bain has lived in Eastleigh for the last 30 years including spending eight years in Boyatt Wood, one of the planned locations for the new homes is concerned about the visibility of the scheme.

A statement released by both councillors said: “We both shared and understood the concerns felt by ADD about the extreme and disproportionate damage that the local plan would cause the environment – especially the impact of the proposed new link road on the village of Allbrook, the River Itchen and on ancient woodland. “We intend to work with ADD to promote more sustainable and acceptable ways to provide housing in Eastleigh.”

Commenting on the news, Gin Tidridge from the ADD Campaign Group said: “We are naturally delighted to see that some politicians still have the courage of their convictions and are willing to stand up for their beliefs and the interests of the borough.“We whole-heartedly welcome their support and look forward to working with Steve and Sarah.”

But borough council leader Cllr Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council expressed doubts.

He said: “Several councillors have decided to reach a decision on the Local Plan before all of the evidence is available to take an informed decision.

“That is their right and their decision but in the process they are ruling out tackling chronic traffic congestion to improve the quality of life of Eastleigh residents.”

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council added: “It’s absolutely essential that Eastleigh has a plan in place because we don’t want to see more development by appeal.

“Fareham is impacted by the total lack of development control at present in Eastleigh so completely support Eastleigh’s borough council’s effort to put a local plan in place.”

Eastleigh Borough Council are expected to make a final choice on their local plan later this year.