Regeneration Deputation

On November 7th I gave the following Deputation to the full Council prior to their discussion and vote on the newly published Regeneration Document, details of which were published earlier on this website, linked to Facebook. There were two other Havant Borough Residents Alliance Deputees - one from the Civic Society, whose comments and Deputation can be read on their website https://havantcivicsociety.uk/ . Unfortunately none of our comments and concerns were discussed by the Councillors and none of them engaged in any debate. It was as if we were talking into a void.

Thank you for this opportunity to address you.

1. My first point concerns the Strategy’s statement that “Communication is crucial for the regeneration programme.” (11.1) and its expressed methods. May I urge the Council to ensure that all surveys and any public consultation documents be made available as hard copy in every Borough Library, so that residents don’t feel disenfranchised by solely online material or indeed Council Magazines (Serving You) that require a 3 month lead time so may quickly be out of date. It is wholly inaccurate to assume that even a majority of adults – young or old – use online devices for reading consultation papers or completing surveys. Even savvy younger adults will not use Facebook. Some tell me that their working lives and small mobile phones make it impractical for them to access Council media, so please be inclusive in your communications.

2. Regarding Governance and Management (p.25): External Stakeholders surely include residents and professionals in our public sector education and medical facilities, yet residents are not able to access the Programme Projects (p11 para 1) – with sensitive material suitably redacted – that the Governance Structure indicates should be shared for “recommendations/information/advice”. Without this detailed underpinning programme of projects, how can residents make any meaningful comments or recommendations? Please ensure that the “full demographic of the borough” (p. 6) is reached by providing hard copies in our libraries.

3. Hayling’s Transport Infrastructure Report has still not been published and this is key to determining any future developments on Hayling. Does this not make the Draft Regeneration Strategy premature in its Hayling Vision?

4. Focussing on the Vision’s Hayling statement (p.21):

- it states “flood defences supporting development”(para 1): even before Climate Change’s predicted rising sea levels, Eastoke’s current, 5 year [see note below}, shingle defence banks don’t stop sea water flooding gardens and local roads. Any future protection must also provide for pedestrian and wheelchair access to the sea views that attract all visitors and residents.

- the stated ”Removal of [West Beach’s] flood defences has allowed the beach to find its own position.” (para 3): there is already alarming erosion, with encroachment on beach huts. The adjacent low-lying ground has car parks, the main road and homes. Where then will the proposed “pod hotels” be sited, how serviced without also negatively impacting on Hayling’s “wild coast charm” referred to by the Council document (para 1) and this area’s protected natural habitat? There are already permanent toilets, showers and ample quality refreshments near parking a short walk from West Beach, and suitably distant from vulnerable vegetation. West Beach is hugely valued all year by walkers, swimmers and riders for its under-developed qualities – please help to keep it that way.

- the proposed park & ride second vehicle bridge: where will it be sited? Where will associated cars even buses be parked, on the mainland or on Hayling? If the latter, at what cost to Hayling’s prized northern and western protected habitat? Where will its final destination be on Hayling and how will users reach their end destinations? What about the disabled, will they be confined to the existing road bridge? Realistically, day trippers with beach paraphernalia won’t choose public transport over their car.

- a proposed “Hayling Gate” visitor centre that would be “just on the Island” (para 4) could not fail to increase congestion at the vulnerable A3023 road bridge. Furthermore visitors expect a visitors’ centre where they’re based so why not use available buildings in Beachlands, Eastoke, even the old Lifeboat station on the seafront?

I urge you to request a revision of the Hayling Statement after carefully considering the issues raised in this deputation. Thank you. Anne Skennerton

Note: South Hayling Island Beach Management 2017- 2018 Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership leaflet: Funding for Beach Management para 2.

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