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Jobs & Infrastructure Before Housing

Recently revised Government Planning Policy may expedite housing development, but we trust that the Housing Minister’s support for building town houses in cities, providing affordable homes where there are existing jobs and facilities, will reduce pressure on ‘valuable’ open spaces. Meanwhile, Councils’ desperate attempts to prevent developers’ Appeals, claim that allocating house building will improve infrastructure. Hayling has not yet seen the 2013 Goldring Development’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spend, reinforcing the argument that jobs and infrastructure must come before housing developments.

Whilst Hayling’s Infrastructure Review is, at the time of writing, incomplete, Islanders are all keenly aware of the A3023’s already demonstrated limited capacity. Councils have made clear that Hayling will neither have the population nor economy to justify a second bridge so it remains our lifeline; vital junctions service the length of the Havant Road, with worryingly few designated pedestrian crossings. There also appears to be no solution by Highways Agency to the serious congestion on the A27 east and west, when queues into Havant back up along the slip road. Bus users through Havant report having to wait through multiple traffic light sequences. Ironically PUSH (Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) house-building targets, ostensibly to be judiciously applied locally, will add to such overcrowding on our arterial roads that they choke our economy.

Water and waste Service Providers have given frequent assurances that all is well, but Hayling’s low lying exposed position presents ongoing engineering challenges. Neighbouring the proposed Lidl are reported long-standing water pressure problems as well as winter flooding on both properties and roads. Regarding complaints about effluent overflows, a Southern Water officer stated that, after a few hours of heavy rainfall locally, he wouldn’t swim in the harbour. The Council promotes Hayling Island as a popular watersports destination so, as with our roads, engineering has not solved the problem.

Emergency access is essential. Currently 11 emergency medical vehicles answering 999 calls cross our bridge daily. Proposed re-siting of centralized emergency stations near to the dual carriageway roads may not be so helpful to local residents. There is nothing like having even a small front line Police office for face to face contact – a fact ignored in current thinking. Even our Beachlands Information Office is closing despite Council assurances in 2017 that Islanders can access practically all Council services there.

Residents who chose to live outside of urban sprawl now incredulously watch as political decisions to build motorways and homes through once protected greenbelt and AONBs are made, despite the absence of new, real, local jobs. Creating a Solent City may be neither desired nor practical. Meanwhile large retail premises that rely on 24/7 heavy delivery lorries, replace smaller manufacturing units. Work at home is impractical for the majority, whilst everyone frequently needs road access.

Contact HIRA or drop boxes: Hayling Community Centre, West Town, Mengham Library, Morris Dibben, Mengham, The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop, Eastoke.

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