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Green Future Relies on More Building

Havant Borough Council’s (HBC) Sept. 8th Cabinet Meeting Agenda prompted 4 residents’ Deputations of the maximum permitted 2 minutes. The first Deputee urged far greater tree and hedge planting on Council land, and reduction of carbon emissions by working with Hampshire highways to increase cycling/walking. Cllr. Thain-Smith’s “Proposed Climate Change Strategy”, approved at the Meeting, expects all Council Strategies to incorporate its principles whilst seeking “partnerships for resilience” with neighbouring authorities, and claiming Developers’ Infrastructure Levy or Section 106 moneys for funding. ‘Green’ active transport choices are thus subject to the intensive building that requires every heavier use of our borough’s already over-stretched road network as Hayling is well aware: no developments, no money. Ironically the call to “protect and enhance the local natural environment”, “choose locally produced food” is completely ignored by the forced acceptance of Government’s house-building diktat resulting in loss of our locally productive fields. Clearly decision-makers, at every level, aren’t listening.

HBC’s “Stakeholder Engagement Framework” (SEF) was appended to the Agenda as if to underpin the Meeting’s 4 proposed strategies. Remember that residents are Stakeholders.

The Draft, “An Ambition for Hayling Island Seafront”, approved by Cabinet, repeats both the desire “to encourage more people” in “walking and cycling...watersports”, and the “love of local”. Additionally we read about “pop-ups” and, during the meeting, enthusiasm was expressed for businesses to come forward with plans for a ‘Brand Hayling’ that, according to the Plan, would not detract from the “high quality natural environment”. Islanders have endlessly complained to HBC and its coastal engineers Coastal Partners, that Hayling’s coastal erosion is far greater than acknowledged. Pleas for retaining revetments and doing more than annually piling up Eastoke shingle, often higher than neighbouring properties’ walls, are batted away: Government’s Environment Agency is not listening, despite real, in our life-time flood threats – no money. Will business profits from “pop-ups” provide the money needed or will it be only short-term gains?

SEF claims HBC will actively “inform, update, engage and consult stakeholders – creating a positive and collaborative working relationship”. However, concerning HBC’s presented “Controlling Access to HBC Land” (also approved by Cabinet), Deputee resident from Barton’s Triangle (leased by HBC from Portsmouth CC) complained that Travellers’ intimidatory multiple visits during 6 weeks, left their jobs’ (from elsewhere) garden waste & faeces still contaminating the land 5 weeks after eviction, prevented residents from using the public recreational grounds and wasted taxpayers’ money with their repeated offences. Cabinet’s ensuing discussion stated that the requested deeper ditch, substantial gate access, similar prevention elsewhere to protect for development, were not practical. NORSE needs access. So tree planting and bunds (embankments) were agreed together with the Neighbourhood Quality Team welfare checks and eviction.

For Havant Regeneration comment:

HIRA Public Meeting: October 8th 7:15 for 7:30pm start. HI Community Centre


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