Barratts' Sinah HBC Approval (published April)
Contrary to the expressed well-reasoned concerns of 578 residents, Barratts’ controversial Sinah Application for 195 dwellings was approved by HBC’s Planning Committee on March 10th subject to 25 conditions as listed on the Agenda’s Report pages 74-81 and 2 Amendments to condition 9. Despite residents asking Councillors who would be monitoring the proper completion of these conditions, no answer was given. In fact, it was extremely concerning to hear Cllr. Pike concede, just before the vote, that he could “appreciate the great concern that residents have” and that the Council needs to better “follow through” but that he “hopes” residents will help the Council to see that these mitigations are carried through “by monitoring their being carried out”.
This is an extraordinary burden to place on ordinary residents, the implications deeply worrying. Does this mean that the Council is unable to routinely check that the 25 conditions are being carried out properly? Is there neither Officer nor Councillor responsible for such compliance? What can a developer assume then, if local residents, for any reason, don’t busy themselves with regularly checking compliance? How can the physical checking of such a major development’s conditions become the responsibility of residents who had urged the Council to refuse the Application until mitigation elements had time to be proven? Surely it is for the Council, tax-payer funded, to undertake checking in an efficient and professional manner; the work must be monitored by a Councillor answerable to residents.
Cllr. Pike acknowledged that there had not been the necessary Council “follow through” of required mitigation from the previous Barratts’ Oysters’ Development on Station Road. Presumably he was alluding to the fencing between the Billy Trail and Sinah field to be erected by Barratts to prevent dogs and walkers disturbing the important Brent Geese foraging site. The fact that only partial fencing was erected and often damaged, demonstrates the failure to enforce the agreed mitigation by both parties.
To hear, at the crucial Planning Meeting to determine an Application with such serious impact on Hayling’s wider infrastructure and environment, that the Council will expect residents to keep it apprised of conditions being met, is unreasonable and needs urgent correction. Of course this does not deny individual residents from complaining or questioning the carrying out or lack of regarding those conditions; but in any case, to whom can residents complain and receive prompt response? The reality is often an automated response from the Council, promising reply within a number of days that can stretch into weeks even months. We do not always find a sympathetic Councillor to chase it up. We need an efficient Council that is responsive to its residents. 442
The ‘windfall’ 3 storey, 10 flats proposed development to replace a single home at 186 Sea Front (APP/21/00045) reveals Hayling’s vulnerability. Common sense argues that, excepting for example 2/3 units, no further developments should be considered before the Local Plan’s examination. The unproven nutrient ‘neutrality’ programme, designed to permit housing development on land previously developed or on green land not in agricultural use, may actually cause, like Budds Farm’s frequently failing sewage network, more environmental damage. Infrastructure must come before more building; and building must be in truly sustainable locations. 90