The following is one of the 3 Deputations made for Hayling Island, and requesting that the Housing Statement to 2036 be referred back for a thorough - and long overdue - infrastructure review. Each of the 8 Deputees speaking for 4 principal sections of the Borough's Housing Statement had no more than 4 minutes in which to make their points, so of necessity, detail and breadth were limited. However I gave to the Press a copy of my Deputation plus the several pages of supporting References which are available should you wish to see them.
"What legacy are we leaving our future generations? That decision is in your hands this evening.
Do we want to live in ribbon development? To travel in gridlock and destroy irreplaceable fields?
Havant’s Housing Statement to 2036 is based on the Plan for Urban South Hampshire that is non-statutory, and the National Planning Policy Framework, that is supposedly to promote healthy communities, conserve and enhance natural and historic environments and meet the challenge of flooding and coastal change.
Let’s consider Hayling Island, 4 by 4 miles at its widest, half a mile wide at its centre.
Substantial eastern, north, central, southwestern sections are listed as Flood Zone 3: that means high probability OR functional floodplains where water has to be allowed to flow. Many Hayling residents – even now - get night time texts warning them to be prepared for imminent flooding & to go to higher ground – on Hayling?
Claim is made that the Housing Statement is sustainable. What exactly does that mean? Any Council Plan must, the NPPF states, ‘plan for biodiversity’,”include international, national … locally designated sites of importance for … wildlife corridors” and if there cannot be mitigation or compensation, then planning permission should be refused.
Please remember that Hayling Island lies between the internationally important Special Protection Areas of Langstone and Chichester Harbours. The currently deferred housing site, UE18, is a designated Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, routinely floods, already acts as flood mitigation for surrounding homes. The Rook Farm fields UE77 do have recognized Brent Geese occupation (300 recorded at a time) and Natural England have just notified the Council. These are Grade 2, versatile Agricultural land. This would be a major irreplaceable loss of higher quality land.
How can it be sustainable to excavate, mitigate flooding by building on ‘flood mitigation’ zones and migratory bird sites? Where will the flood and surface water go? Sea levels are forecast to rise and there are no flood defences planned for Hayling’s steadily eroding west coast, approximately one eighth of a mile from the proposed housing.
Even in a 1980s modern-built, housing estate on Hayling, some have routinely suffered from toilets backing up during high surface water, and Southern Water has been unable to stop this.
What about the promised cheaper property for our young people? I heard our Housing Officers clearly state, on October 19th this year, that Havant Borough Council could not force developers to provide the Council’s minimum of 30% Affordable Housing. Nor can they force developers to improve the crumbling Billy Trail.
Hayling is renowned not only for bird watching but also as a world class, safe, watersports and Blue Flag beach, ‘rural’ destination. 30,000 vehicles in August 2016 stopped traffic for 3 hours on Hayling’s A3023. More houses and their cars destroy not only our habitats but Havant’s valuable tourist economy.
Finally, what will you say to families whose loved ones could not be driven to A&E in time because of predictable gridlock congestion on the A3023 single road on & off our Island?
Please think about the legacy you leave behind. Please refer the Statement back for a thorough infrastructure review.
Thank you. "