Members of Hayling's vital Infrastructure Advisory Group are meeting with continued delays from Havant Borough Council's new Chairman for the Group, Cllr. Tim Pike, in our efforts to engage with the Council's deliberations on our Island's infrastructure needs and plans. Cllr. Pike's deferment of a meeting with the Group indicates that we are not being included in contributing to the infrastructure Agenda for the Island. The Group's expertise was originally acknowledged when it was set up by HBC and Councillors in 2016 and commenced January 2017. We made positive and meaningful contributions as appreciated by successive meetings. However the Transport Assessment 2018 (intended as Evidence Base for the Local Plan 2036), preparation for which the Council initially promised then signally failed to include in participation with the Infrastructure Advisory Group, was even rejected by the full Council January 30th 2019 and sent back for further study as a result of the Satchwell Amendment agreed at the Council vote. The Group had always made clear that their involvement was essential for a realistic outcome.
The Group is particularly concerned about the following issues and urges Cllr. Pike to re-convene a meeting with us urgently:
- Sinah Field Development's recent re-application APP/18/00724
suggests that Barratt's have an understanding with the Council otherwise why would they have made it public that initial external support works directly associated with the development have been commissioned;
- in view of the Satchwell Amendment requiring renewed Traffic Assessment for the A3023 how can any major building development be considered until that Traffic Assessment has taken place and in discussion with the Infrastructure Advisory Group and not produced as a 'fait accompli' as happened in January 2019;
- the current moratorium nationally and particularly on major house building along England's south coast, following the Dutch Case in which Building Development was found to produce unacceptable levels of nitrates that run off into ground and marine water so that Solent waters are under serious threat of further contamination that cannot yet be undone; so why have Barratt's renewed their application;
- the yet to be published revised national Environment Agency's Flood Risk Assessment which we understand will shorten to 60 years the previously held view that building development life is 100 years; Sinah Field will remain in Flood Zone 1 risk but the Government's National Planning Policy Framework continues to maintain that development planning need not consider future tidal flood zones, but how can this new development be sustainable for not only the newcomers there but the rest of the Island which we know, from Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership's calculations, could be cut in two in an extreme weather scenario. Why build on one of the few possible human refuge grounds on the Island?
- Havant Borough Council's (HBC) failure to effect successful traffic management during Hayling's A3023 Portsmouth Water pipe rupture requires an urgent acknowledgement by the Council's Local Resilience Forum as to what went wrong, why and what steps will be taken in future; we know that the Local Plan 2036 had emergency plans published on its Evidence Base for the Inspector and HIRA had long since critiqued the inadequacies of the Council's provision but clearly this has not been heeded; proper engagement with the Group is urgently needed.