HBC votes for increased traffic while RegenCo gets the green light to spend more on consultants

This will be a brief update, our regular webmaster having taken a well-deserved break. There will be a couple of detailed posts coming in a few days as we outline below, but for now, if you’ve been away, just take the links in the text below to catch up.

Over the past two evenings, the HCS Chair has attended, and presented to, two important Havant Borough Council meetings. Detailed reports on both meetings will follow, including the usual edited video highlights, and there were quite a few.

In the cutting room

The first meeting was the Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday 8th September, at which we were asking a question of the Cabinet Lead for Regeneration. The paper that was on the agenda for approval has been covered in our report on the preceding Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 24th August.

Our question, unsurprisingly, was ducked, leading to our conclusion that the slow train wreck that is Regeneration, is gathering speed.  There was a strong association with the Hayling Seafront Strategy paper which was on the same agenda.  We’ll be including both topics in a post with relevant video highlights and we can promise you that it will be well worth putting on your video catch up schedule.

The second meeting was this evening’s Planning Committee meeting, where our Chair and two other local residents representatives were putting the case for at least the deferral of the 32 New Lane ‘Last Mile Delivery’ planning application by Kingsbridge Estates.  Given the significant amount of missing or withheld information, any decision made by this committee would clearly be unsound and questionably illegal. That point was clearly lost on the Planning Committee for now.

Needless to say, the application was approved.  In twelve month’s time, once commissioned, traffic will significantly increase on Park Road South and the Asda Roundabout. Bedhampton Road and Bedhampton Hill will also see an unwelcome rise in traffic load.  Just when Bargate Homes are proposing to give this Council another easy ride on their housing numbers.

The damage is done. The deckchairs on the SS Regeneration are still being rearranged and the absolute lack of vision of the Council is laid bare in the 32 New Lane application. On the overriding issue of ‘Traffic’, the HCC Highways representative’s almost complete lack of engagement with the Planning Committee meeting he was attending spoke volumes.

We’ll get the detail up as soon as the Webmaster is back.  The Planning Committee session on 32 New Lane we will cover in full. It’s worth watching it all, even at 1 hour 25 minutes.  You will learn a great deal about how just how Havant has got into the mess that it’s in.

The bad news?

Traffic is going to get steadily worse in twelve months time, when the 32 New Lane warehouse/logistics/home delivery industry opens up for business.

For those looking for jobs, just lower your expectations and standards and there’ll be plenty, from week to week, day to day. Job security, however, will be a tad lacking, they’re poor quality jobs without guaranteed hours.

The good news?

If you live near Bulbeck Road and the Meridian Centre, breath easy. The threat to demolish them and replace them will go nowhere, at least not in the current decade. This now infamous document was only really intended to pad out the Levelling Up Fund bid. We doubt they ever intended it to get out in the open. Shame they paid so much for it.

Bit of a shame also that they gave it to the Planning Inspector, a brief act of madness that could just backfire quite spectacularly.

Watch this space.