We hope you had a happy Christmas and new year – and that it doesn’t seem too long ago! The ADD team (from Upham and elsewhere) is now ready to resume our fight for the right Local Plan for Eastleigh – one that genuinely addresses the housing needs of local people without wrecking the environment and quality of life of a large swathe of the borough and neighbouring area. This is probably one of the most critical issues to affect Upham and our community for generations.
Anyone who witnessed Eastleigh’s council meeting on 11 December – and there were more than 800 there from the ADD community – will know that council leaders showed a total disregard for the facts and for due process when they decided that their Local Plan should include the development of 5,200 new houses and a new road north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak (its so-called options B and C). The good news is that the decision and the way it was taken are so flawed that we have every chance of getting the plan overturned when it comes before a government inspector.
The next step in the process is the public inquiry, when a government planning inspector will examine Eastleigh’s Plan. We have always known that this inquiry, which will take place later this year (probably the autumn), will be the make or break point in our fight.
We have also known that, in order to win, we have to continue to raise the necessary funds to engage high quality professional advisers to take on the council and its own extensive list of consultants and lawyers. We will work with our advisers to produce the evidence to show that options B and C (especially the latter, which impacts our village the most) are, in fact, the council’s least attractive options for development. We also need to be ready to adapt our strategy to tackle whatever Keith House, Eastleigh’s leader who is pursuing options B and C so doggedly, may throw at us.
ADD is fortunate that our volunteers have an amazing range of skills – and are willing to give countless hours of time for free. Now, though, we need to buy more professional expertise – which is where you can help! To date we have raised just over £37,000, most of which has been now spent on our advisers enabling us to achieve our considerable success so far. Indeed, without these funds to support our efforts we are convinced this disastrous Local Plan would have been bulldozed through.
Entering the next phase of our campaign, which we know we can win, we really need everyone’s help. We estimate that we will require between £70,000 – £100,000, with £25,000 very soon. This sounds a huge amount but we need to commission the best transport, ecology, planning and legal advisers to make our case. And we can win!
So, here’s the ask: Upham will be changed beyond all recognition by Eastleigh’s plans, not least due to the estimated 26,000 extra daily vehicle movements caused by 5,200 new houses. This will create traffic misery and safety risks for us and our neighbours. For this reason, or because you love the ancient woodlands, the Itchen and the countryside that will be severely damaged by these proposals – or simply because you loathe the injustice of it all – then we ask you to give money to the cause.
We appreciate times are hard but hope everyone will donate – whether that’s through monthly instalments or a single sum. Please find enclosed a form with the relevant details.
If you would like to hear directly from our QC and planning consultant, they will be coming to Upham Village Hall at 6.30pm on 21 March 2018 to give ADD supporters a run-down on how our money is being spent to win our fight. We anticipate strong demand for this meeting so are asking anyone wishing to come to reserve a seat. To book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have sent this letter to each household in Upham and a fundraiser from the village will be following up with you to discuss our campaign and what you feel able to give.
In the meantime, a huge thank you in advance for your support in saving Upham and our community.
With best wishes