EASTLEIGH Borough Council is meeting on December 15 to consider the next steps in the production of a much needed Local Plan.

The plan could well affect not only the residents of Eastleigh, but those in Winchester district as well.

Indeed, two of the options being considered by the council will have a huge impact on South Downs National Park and very likely turn our tranquil lanes into a traffic nightmare – completely contrary to the very purposes of a national park.

So it is a matter of great public concern the evidence base for the plan has still not been published, with many fundamental reports (such as a proper assessment of the traffic implications) still awaited.

The options for the major housing developments currently being proposed deserve proper public scrutiny of the evidence base, not least as the decisions made by the council will affect the day to day lives of people for generations to come.

Two of the options, B&C, require a relief road to be built over open countryside. Without such a road there would be traffic mayhem and misery.

Leaving aside the many important environmental considerations, are the councillors absolutely sure the funding is in place for such major expenditure?

Surely Eastleigh Borough councillors at their meeting on December 15 cannot narrow down the options until there is proper assessment, publicly available, of the related implications?

To rush to a decision now seems to us to be foolhardy in the extreme, and risk having the plan thrown out by the Inspector again, as not being properly worked through.

John Chapman and David Ashe, Chairmen of Owslebury Parish Council and Upham Parish Council.