The Emsworth Residents Association (ERA) and others who submitted comments to Havant Borough Council on their draft local plan earlier this year will have received the Consultation Overview and Way Forward Note (8 pages) and Consultation Summary Report (271 pages).
For Emsworth sites, Land at Westwood Close (p.6, para 21, site H10) there may be a note of cautious optimism, when considering the following wording of paragraph 21 which states: “For almost all of the policies, some changes are being considered. However for some, the principle of including the policy or site needs to be given further consideration. These are: H10 Land at Westwood Close.”
Opponents of the proposal at Westwood Close have built evidence for their case since this site was mentioned as one for potential development in the draft Havant Local Plan. Malinda Griffin, one of Emsworth’s Tree Wardens and an Emsworth Residents’ Association Committee member, has collected an impressive amount of biodiversity evidence on water issues affecting quality of the River Ems. The ERA has also heard that the Environment Agency and Havant Borough Council are going to do more investigations into the flood plain and ground water levels in the field and projections of rain fall due to global warming. This will not be concluded until Jan/Feb next year so extending a decision time to early 2019.
Land to the north of Long Copse Lane (H6 p.120-126 Consultation Summary Report) HBC have commented on p.123 that, “broadly, they can see no reason why a development should not proceed. No fundamental matters have been raised which indicate that the site is not deliverable or should not be allocated in the HBLP 2036. The council is satisfied that the evidence base supports an allocation.”
However, the ERA maintains that this site is unsuitable for a development of 260 homes, having quite inadequate infrastructure to cope with the resulting additional traffic, and with no means to increase that infrastructure.Local residents of Long Copse Lane have formed a local action group, and are organising a leaflet drop outlining their campaign.
Objectors to the development and ultimate loss of these two unspoilt green sites will continue the fight, supported by the ERA.