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SOLVE Report February 2012

Judicial Review Begins 

The Manydown Company (MDC) has put in a formal request for a Judicial Review and been granted, on 9th February, an expedited JR hearing scheduled for March 13/14.  This is separate from any SOLVE and CountryWatch JR.  We are in regular communication with the MDC and exploring how we can best support their action. In the meantime, and following legal advice, we are keen to avoid duplication of effort and ensure we spend our voluntary funding wisely so have held back on our formal JR action. Once progress on the MDC JR is clearer, we will consider how best to proceed.  Where possible we have put the legal correspondence on our web-site.

On 26th February the Basingstoke Gazette published a letter from four Conservative Councillors representing Chineham and Bramley and Sherfield in response to a letter from Cllr Biermann (12th January) explaining their support for the Conservative leadership over Manydown.  They chose to follow the party whip, in effect paving the way for 2300 extra houses around their wards.  Their letter was full of inaccuracies and misinformation, therefore SOLVE replied in the next issue.  More letters and articles have followed in subsequent editions of the Gazette.  SOLVE is developing a wider communication campaign to make sure residents get the facts, and not the spin coming from the Council.  Has your Borough Councillor chosen to dump thousands of houses on your doorstep?  If so, ask him/her why.  

Despite the JR, the consultation period on the draft Core Strategy, without Manydown, began on 10th February and ends on 23rd March.  Full information can be found on the Council website.  There are 4 exhibitions planned around the Borough with the nearest to the East of Basingstoke at the Royal British Legion, Old Basing on Tuesday 21st February, 2pm-8pm.  I’m sure the planners will welcome the chance to explain the draft Core strategy.  It is really important that you send formal written comments, as this builds evidence for the Planning Inspector to consider.

The Chairman of the Council Planning and Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee (P&IOSCOM), Councillor Stephen Reid, has resigned that position.  His reason was that his new post in the HCC Cabinet is in conflict with his duties on the P&IOSCOM.  No comment necessary.  Belatedly, he now absents himself from Council Committee meetings during Manydown discussions. Where does this leave the legitimacy of the September P&IOSCOM meeting, which he chaired, and where Manydown was debated extensively? 

A big thank you to all those who have donated to the SOLVE cause.  For details on how to donate to SOLVE go to “What can I do next?” or the previous article.

For clarity - SOLVE does not support, and is not seeking, large scale developments on any Greenfield sites east or west.  The Council should not ignore residents’ wishes and must consider ALL Greenfield sites equally on merit.

If you have not already done so please register on this website.  You can follow us on Twitter: @SOLVE2010.  Our telephone contact is Kate Tuck - 01256 324043.

Peter Bloyce


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