Horton Hearth Development for 2,500 new Homes!

Did i understand correctly?

  • Council spins up a private business building homes. (All transactions are private).
  • Council then finds a nice plot of land in its own area.
  • Council then applies for planning permission from the Council to build there.
  • Council then approves its own planning permission.

In such an arrangement, how do you make sure the council is not biased in any of its decision making?

There seems to be no checks and balances here as the council is accidentally becoming a large property developer…

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The council needs to generate increased revenue from the private sector to sustain its debt levels. The plan is credible had it been for a business; Eastleigh Borough Council is not a business, however.

This is a vertically integrated proposition built by the council to ensure it holds decision making at all levels.

The issues when it comes to planning applications is elected officials blocking it… all else can be manipulated. By integrating elected officials in planning and decision making, outsourcing construction and development (whilst continuing to have a say), the council has reduced transparency, gained full decision making and is able to service its mountains of debt.

The ONLY way to stop this is to vote Liberal Democrats out of Eastleigh Borough Council.

The only properties this council should be developing on its land is council housing. It would solve so many of the issues our area faces. Lib Dems seem to be going out of their way to facilitate 3rd party profit, and I can’t work it out why.

When you look at budget allocations (as we have at length!) we see that much of the costs comes from ‘Developer Contributions’.

As we know, Josh, this is the pot of money that Keith and Co grow by selling off green space to developers.

I truly do not believe all liberal democrats in Eastleigh can support the current council’s policy. There are a progressive tradition in their party that has a good record on a lot of issues. Statistically we can’t have ended up with a council where 100% of the lib-dem Councillors are tory or tory lite! They should make themselves known, and take direct action to oppose rather than silent compliance.

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Oof, this is big, the whole plan, including 3 x 6 storey flats:

Full masterplan doc: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WpZxHCxJTseHopGx_ImXN1rOxbdUAWy7/view

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Wow… that is quite amazing.

Paul’s back with more:

Flooding on Allington Lane and One Horton Heath Update 2

Below is my objection letter to the current One Horton Heath plans. Despite meeting with the Chief Executive of Eastleigh Borough Council in November 2020, and reviewing the application material in detail, I do not believe that Eastleigh Borough Council has brought forward a satisfactory application. My objection to the plans centre on three principal issues which are set out below. I will also be raising these concerns in Parliament on Monday.

Excessive housebuilding

The Council continues to build above and beyond the assessed housing need or the so-called ‘Government target’. As you are aware, Eastleigh Borough Council has a target of 694 homes per annum plus a 5 per cent buffer[1].

In the last three years (2017/18 to 2019/20), Eastleigh Borough Council’s assessed housing need or ‘target’ would have been 2,082 or 2,187 with a five per cent buffer. In the same three-year period, the number of new dwellings delivered by Eastleigh Borough Council was 3,278[2]. This means the Council has sanctioned over 1,000 additional dwellings to be built in the area, 49 per cent more than our ‘assessed housing need’ even including the five per cent buffer.

Given the over-delivery in previous years, I would expect to see a reduction in future years but this is not the case. The latest information published by Eastleigh Borough Council on its five-year housing supply (July 2020-June 2025) shows that the Council intend to approve 667 extra dwellings, equating to 18 per cent above target[3].

In light of Eastleigh Borough Council’s record and the proposed scale of One Horton Heath, my suspicion is that the Council will far exceed the 18 per cent target it is currently forecasting.

Overdevelopment of Horton Heath

In light of the figures presented in my previous point, there is a clear opportunity to reduce the size of the development at One Horton Heath. The sheer scale of new properties proposed is enormous and represents unsuitable and inappropriate overdevelopment of green fields around Horton Heath. The current population of Horton Heath is approximately 3,454. When complete, the population living in the 2,500 residential units at One Horton Heath will likely exceed the size of the village. This provides an indication of the size of the development being put forward by Eastleigh Borough Council

The village of Horton Heath is small and peaceful, and this development would destroy the character of the area while also undermining amenity for those residents that live there. Furthermore, the development also removes the obvious strategic gap between Horton Heath and Hedge End, a principle that is well established in the Council’s planning policies.

Flood risk and environmental considerations.

The area to the north of the One Horton Heath site, where the proposed link road will join Allington Lane is already susceptible to flooding and the scale of the proposed development could make these problems even worse. Both of the tributaries that meet where the flood risk issues occur run through the development site so surface and groundwater run-off from One Horton Heath will have a direct impact on the associated flood risk on Allington Lane and arguably increases ferocity and regularity… This point is endorsed by the Environment Agency.

Moreover, the stated aim of Eastleigh Borough Council is that the site should deliver an ‘environmental net gain’. In relation to the watercourses, the One Horton Heath development does not return the current habitat to their original state so improvements to the watercourses running through the site are essential to achieve this objective. This in turn will also address the flood risk issues.

So far, Eastleigh Borough Council’s position as the developer and applicant suggests nothing should be done in relation to the flood risk and watercourses, because the site is already susceptible to flooding. This is not acceptable and falls well short of what would be expected of a private developer. It is even worse when we consider this is the response of our local council. It also directly contradicts the stated aims of the project:

“We want to protect local wildlife and preserve Horton Heath’s character as much as possible. Our ambition is that One Horton Heath will create a net gain in biodiversity. To achieve this, we’ve partnered with ecologists to tell us how we can protect natural habitats, green open spaces and invest in the site’s waterways” [emphasis added].

To conclude, I believe the current masterplan should be rejected as it represents excessive housebuilding, overdevelopment which will undermine the character of Horton Heath and it fails to appropriately mitigate the associated flood risks. The fact that Eastleigh Borough Council are acting as the developer should not detract from the Council’s responsibilities as a local planning authority to act in the best interests of residents. I strongly encourage the Council to reject this application for the reasons that I, and other local residents, have set out.

[1] EBC, Calculation of Five-Year Housing Land Supply, November 2020, link

[2] MHCLG, Live Tables on housing supply: net additional dwellings, Live Tables 122 and 123, link

[3] EBC, Calculation of Five-Year Housing Land Supply, November 2020, link


Nick Couldrey posts on facebook:

One Horton Heath will strengthen local ecology and biodiversity. Farmers are good at growing grazing on the fields for their livestock; and keeping everything else off, which makes for little biodiversity. In contrast, the hedgerows and watercourses are ecologically important. That is why the buildings will be built on the fields. The hedgerows and watercourses will be widened and enhanced to create ecology corridors for wildlife, with stronger natural water features and many hundreds of new trees too.

As Cllr Nick Couldrey is one of the Councillors who will be deciding the application, does his count as pre-determination of the planning application?

And politicians wonder why they are so despised?

There is some truth in this statement, though it’s well hidden away and overwhelmed by the general mendacity of the message.

His main assertion - that OHH will “will strengthen local ecology and biodiversity”, he has been roundly, and rightly, condemned. It’s a transparently logical nonsense, and he must know it. I can only assume he was testing the waters to see whether anyone actually believed it.

Yes, farmers ARE good at raising their livestock, feeding them on what grows on their field - but at the cost of extensive use of herbicides and pesticides (“keeping everything else off”) and yes, this does “make(s) for little biodiversity”. PLEASE READ Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” (1962) Silent Spring - Wikipedia
and Conor Mark Jameson’s “Silent Spring Revisited” (2012) to understand how this chemical-led approach has decimated the natural world.

Despite the farmers’ herbicides and pesticides, there is still life on those fields he is so excited to tarmac and concrete over. It is just suppressed. Remove the poisons, and the biodiversity will bounce back. The land destined to be overlaid with Crowdhill Copse estate was left for two years and turned into this:

Now, of course it’s all concrete, brick, tarmac – and cats.

As to ‘new trees’ – while these are welcome, it will take centuries for them to develop into true replacements for those they have cut down. And we don’t have centuries. Every tree that is cut down is another small nail in the coffin of the human race.

Also, the “hedgerows and watercourses ARE ecologically important”. Yet, modern agriculture and development have ripped out tens of thousands of miles of hedges since 1945 (Hedgerow loss.). The EU - remember them - were until recently, paying farmers to leave fields and wider field margins uncultivated (fallow) to permit biodiversity to recover. It remains to be seen whether the UK will continue this policy. It is good to see that their importance has (at least in form of words) has been acknowledged in discussions of One Horton Heath (OHH).

Sir John Lawton in his 2010 report - “Making Space for Nature” (https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130402154501/http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/biodiversity/index.htm) flagged up the rapid fragmentation of the natural landscape, and called on Government to restore biodiversity and establish ‘ecology corridors’. Mr Couldrey is at least aware of this tag. But it hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that the first thing done for OHH was to rip out a couple of hundred yards of hedgerow at Hedge End, and to fell up to 40 mature oaks along Allington Lane.