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SOLVE News November 2010

Taylor Wimpey has a long term option agreement on the purchase of the Kings Fund land east of Basingstoke and on 16th September SOLVE met with Kings Fund representatives including the CEO. Our case, based on environmental concerns, was put by Kate Tuck and Clive Pinder for SOLVE. This agreement, signed in 2006, was made before the current Executive & Trustee were in post and the CEO accepted that the Trustees have a moral responsibility to review this. SOLVE has been invited to write a letter to Fund Trustees in time for next Board meeting at the end of October. If they accept the development would be inappropriate, they may try and modify the option agreement; a legal issue.

SOLVE is spearheading a Borough wide campaign against large scale development anywhere in BDBC and we have canvassed local Parish Councils & Residents Groups with a view to collaborating. Many have now confirmed they want to be involved including the Manydown Action Group. Our MP, Maria Miller, is a strong supporter of this approach and her office is now involved in organising a meeting of these groups. For information the number of houses built in the Borough over the last 10 years averaged 900 a year; well above targets.

The main item on the agenda of the Council Planning and Infrastructure meeting on 9th September was ‘Community Engagement’ and despite the diverse views decisions did emerge. In particular the Council will be undertaking two surveys one will use a market research company to sample 1500 households across the Borough the second a general survey of all residents and groups. This Community Engagement project is ‘owned’ by the Council unlike the SHLAA which is Council Officer driven. All this comes under the government agenda of ‘localism’ and some Councillors may have difficulty understanding this. However, simply put, it means listening to the views of your voters and having the courage to represent these even above party interests.

SOLVE has received a reply from the Council regarding our petition, see website. However, the Council record on petitions recently has been poor. In South View the Council ignored their own consultation which indicated that 91% of respondents wanted open space in our community protected from housing. A 750+ petition and 400 letters objecting to Lemon Land’s application on Eli Lilly were ignored. A 200+ petition calling for the Down Grange playing field to be protected from development had no effect and the site remains in the SHLAA. One of our Councillors was told that 300 emails from Old Basing were not important. They ignore SOLVE at their peril.

To coincide with the start of the Council’s ‘Community Engagement’ on housing numbers we have organised a public meeting at Old Basing Village hall on Saturday 6th November at 10am. Maria Miller MP has confirmed her attendance. There will also be a number of local Councillors present. Please show your support and come along too. More details on our website.

Website – http://www.solveloddon.org

Peter Bloyce, SOLVE

 

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