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SOLVE – 75% say “NO”

SOLVE – 75% say “NO”

The results from the Community Engagement on Housing numbers across the Borough is now available.

• 75% said NO to new homes in their local area.
• 65% said the level of housing growth in the Borough over the past 10 years, is ‘Too Much' for the future.
• The report conclusions interpret data in a way that supports more housing when in fact the overwhelming point of view from residents is that we have enough.
• SOLVE will be responding in full.

On the 5th February Maria Miller MP led a meeting to bring together a number of action groups under the umbrella of ‘Best for Basingstoke’ (BFB). Clive Pinder and I represented SOLVE along with representatives from Save Manydown, Down Grange Action Group, Whitewater Valley Preservation Society, Worting Residents Association and Old Kempshott Lane Residents Association.

The aim is to take coordinated action against excessive house building in order to protect Greenfield sites in the Borough. We will be concentrating on 4 main topics.

• The reduction of new housing numbers
• Infrastructure
• Environment, including water quality and supply.
• Political lobbying of the Conservative led administration to ensure they honour their commitment not to build on Greenfield sites.

The BFB gave presentations to the Council Planning and Infrastructure meeting on 17th February including a submission with alternative housing requirements for the Borough using up-to-date statistics. The Council Planning Office has used out of date figures extrapolated from the 2001 census.
Our figures give a ceiling of 500 per year needed to fulfil local needs rather than 750 still being supported by the Council Planners. The 500 figure will be netted down to recognise credit from years of over-building; even then it is only acceptable if the money for infrastructure is ring-fenced. Using a revised figure under 500 would save major Greenfield sites east and west of the Borough right up to 2026. A webcast of the meeting on 17th February can be found on the Council Website at “Browse” then “Council and Democracy”.

The housing numbers inform the Council ‘Core Strategy’ programme and key dates for 2011 are as follows:
• 17th February 2011 - Initial results of housing consultation presented to P&I OSCOM
• March 2011 - Workshops with Members on draft Core Strategy policies
• March 2011 – Council Workshop on Site Selection Process and Infrastructure
• 16th June 2011 - Pre-submission to P&I OSCOM
• 14th July 2011 - Pre-submission to Full Council
• Early September 2011 - Formal consultation on Pre-Submission Core Strategy
• Mid November 2011 - End of Pre submission consultation period

2012 will see the adoption of the Core Strategy; timetable to be published later.
Keep up-to-date and register with us by clicking the bold 'Register with us' link at the top of the home page.

Peter Bloyce, SOLVE
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