I AM surprised that council leader Keith House thinks our petition to save St Francis Animal shelter is ‘creating needless worry’.

If he wants to persuade the community it’s needless, it’s really very simple: all he has to do is issue a categorical assurance that in this or any development plan he will personally protect St Francis Animal Welfare by allowing sufficient open space and belts of noise-abating woodland around us, to protect both us and the people in any new houses.

Sadly candidate Lynda Murphy has yet to give us any assurances on this either, or to reply to us.

The campaign group ADD Eastleigh assures me that any issues around open spaces and roads have to be addressed at the initial planning phase.

For Mr House to suggest it can be addressed at the secondary stage of individual planning applications appears disingenuous, to say the least. Perhaps this is why he failed to reply to my email on the subject, after I’d pointed this out to him! I’m puzzled too about the statement ‘there is no Master Plan’. Most of us thought the Local Plan was, in most respects, a proposed Master Plan. And he says ‘When the Local Plan is endorsed by the Government Inspector’.

Would it not be more respectful of her role to say ‘If’ not ‘when’?

Finally, may I express the gratitude of all at St Francis for the community’s wonderful response to our petition and many messages of support.

Annette Lodge

Chair of Trustees, St Francis Animal Welfare