Last week I met with George Hollingbery MP and Steve Brine MP to discuss these matters as they also have constituents, parish councils and businesses affected by these issues. We all state that the Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council’s and his Councillors’ apparent position that the Chickenhall Link Road is necessary to avoid options B and C is completely incorrect.
I want to see the Chickenhall Link Road delivered and have been working actively with the Solent LEP who have dramatically increased their priority for this project from when I was first elected to now. I am grateful to the work they have put in with regards their recent submission. I oppose options B and C. Suggestions that they are the only options available to the Council until the Chickenhall Link Road is delivered are misleading. That is also the view of my fellow MPs. Options B and C are wholly unsuitable and would destroy valuable green spaces including Ancient Woodland. In my formal submission to the Council during consultation and at the July public meeting in person I made my opposition to these options very clear.
However the issue of constant traffic and air pollution in Eastleigh is unacceptable. To further promote the Chickenhall Link Road Scheme I recently met with Rt Hon David Gauke MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. The scheme will not only be of benefit to Eastleigh but will improve traffic throughout the area including in Chandlers Ford. It will also improve productivity. I am pleased to have the backing of our neighbouring MPs. Last week I also spoke to the new Chancellor about the Local Majors Fund and I am confident that this scheme, in line with the previous Budget Book statement, is ideally placed to be awarded funding. I will be meeting with the Leader of Hampshire County Council again to help progress and press our case for this scheme.
I will continue to widely campaign for this road to progress which will be greatly enhanced by the Council bringing forward a viable Local Plan incorporating the strongly held view of residents which can be presented to the Planning Inspectorate. I have recently met with both the current and previous Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to brief them on the failure of Eastleigh Borough Council. Eastleigh Borough Council has shown they are incapable or unwilling to make a Local Plan for residents and I briefed Ministers accordingly.
In the meantime I remain squarely opposed to Options B and C. The Local Council should be putting more effort into delivering an effective Local Plan and stop playing politics with our area’s future.
I would like to thank Action Against Destructive Development for all their hard work because this is simply the most unacceptable site for housing and I would be distraught to see this come forward against the wishes of local residents.