Eastleigh Liberal Democrats last night saved scores of green spaces in the borough from the threat of Conservative-inspired concreting over – while the Tory by-election candidate stayed silent.
Members of a borough planning committee voted in favour of a development of 1,400 homes in Boorley Green on land being sold off by the local golf course, including a new primary school, shop and sewage and road improvements.
By doing so they ensured that swathes of green spaces between villages in the borough were saved from the threat of Conservative Planning Minister Nick Boles’ desire to concrete over countryside.
During the meeting of the Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee, the Conservative candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, Maria Hutchings, sat silent, ducking her opportunity to tell the voters of Eastleigh how she would protect the green fields between our villages.
But at the meeting Conservative MP for Meon Valley, George Hollingbery admitted he had voted in favour of the contentious nearby development of 2,000 homes on Barton Farm when he was a Winchester City councillor; and was in favour of building 8,000 homes in his constituency.
Last night Liberal Democrat councillors blasted Conservative-controlled Hampshire County Council, which recently invested £43m on new offices for itself – including £12,000 on six taps – but has gone back on promises to build a £15m bypass around Botley. Residents near the proposed development called for a new bypass to alleviate traffic concerns.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Keith House said:
“The Conservatives say they are in favour of green spaces but their by-election candidate stays silent, the neighbouring MP supports 10,000 new homes, the Conservative Planning Minister, Nick Boles instructs us to concrete over open land and their county council spends money on itself rather than much-needed traffic improvements in Eastleigh.
“By contrast Liberal Democrats take the responsible action on development, ensuring future generations can afford to live in Eastleigh while protecting green spaces across the borough from the threat of Tory in-fill.”