The local plan is the backdrop to all planning development since if an application does not conform to the site within the local plan, then it has failed the first hurdle. In the case of Eastleigh Borough Council whose responsibility it is to draw up a local plan, do not currently have an adopted local plan (for reasons explained elsewhere on this site). This means that they have to work from the previous adopted local plan and the current draft local plan. The Bubb Lane site is listed in both as designated strategic gap.
The original application to build 328 homes in Bubb Lane (App No. O/14/75166) was heard in public on 12 March 2015 at the Hedge End 2000 Centre, where local councillors debated the report provided by an Eastleigh Borough Council planning officer. The officer’s recommendation was to refuse the application, which the councillors unanimously voted to do.
The appeal was heard at the Ageas Bowl on 12 April 2016. The message went out that the appeal is more likely to be lost if residents do not attend the hearing and so around 190 residents turned up to show their support for the councillors’ decision to refuse planning permission. One by one, from 6.00pm, residents spoke passionately about why they did not want the Bubb Lane site to receive planning permission. At just after 9.00pm, the last resident had spoken and all hoped that they had done enough to convince the planning inspector that they really did not want housing to fill the gap between West End and Hedge End.
A month later on the 24 May, it was announced that the Planning Inspector had ruled in favour of the local councillors’ decision not to permit development of the 328 homes.