Village’s struggle enters European stage – Portsmouth News


THE plight of villagers in Hambledon will be taken to Brussels following the visit of an influential Member of the European Parliament

What’s has this got to do with Brussels and the EU ?

While it is nice to know that one of our MEPs, Richard Ashworth, is taking an interest I fail to see how the EU can be involved.

This is part of a wider UK issue, much of which has been caused by lack of action by our local and national authorities.

Central government has systematically cut or removed funding for many of the organisations responsible for managing our environment. The net of this is a reduction in manpower leading to works, that have been carried out for hundreds of years, remaining undone.

Add to this the idiotic planning approvals that have seen homes built on flood plains and the huge developments in general that are replacing open ground, which can absorb water, with houses and roads which do not absorb water but cause accelerated run off.

These are local issues which should be dealt with at a local, to the UK, level. This is not a European issue.

Right now, we should be curtailing the sending of UK funds to foreign countries. That money should be spent to resolve local UK issues.

Village’s struggle enters European stage – Portsmouth News.

Frankenfish – Say No To Genetically Modified Salmon


I recently received the following by email and have re-posted here in its entirety.

Many of us have concerns about GM foods and the lack of testing or understanding of the impacts on both the wild salmon populations or the consumer is probably the most worrying issue.

Please take the time to read this and also take a look at some of the additional links below. If you agree with me, that this must be stopped until all issues are properly understood, please follow the link and sign the petition.

Dear friends,

The US is about to treat the world to the first genetically modified meat: a mutant salmon that could wipe out wild salmon populations and threaten human health. Unless we stop it, this Frankenfish could open the floodgates for biotech meat around the world. Click below to build 1 million voices to stop it:

The US is about to treat the world to the first genetically modified meat: a mutant salmon that could wipe out wild salmon populations and threaten human health — but we can stop it now before our plates are filled with suspicious Frankenfish.

The new fake salmon grows twice as fast as the real one, and not even scientists know its long-term health effects. Yet it’s about to be declared safe for us to eat, based on studies paid for by the company that created the GMO creature! Luckily, the US is legally required to consider public opinion before deciding. A growing coalition of consumers, environmentalists, and fishermen is calling on the government to trash this fishy deal. Let’s urgently build an avalanche of global support to help them win.

The consultation is happening right now and we have a real chance to keep mutant fish off the menu. Sign to stop Frankenfish and share widely — when we reach 1 million, our call will be officially submitted to the public consultation:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_frankenfish_r/?brpgHdb&v=21124

The company that developed the Frankenfish altered the DNA of the salmon to create a fish that would grow at lightning speed, year-round. Not only do we not understand its long-term health effects, if a few of them or their eggs reached the wild, these super-salmon could decimate entire wild salmon populations. Worse, once they hit supermarkets, we won’t be able to tell apart Frankenfish and real salmon, so there won’t be a way to avoid it!

The biotech industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying governments to approve its GM crops. Frankenfish is their next million dollar baby — it could open the floodgates for other transgenic meats. But the US government will consider public opinion before it makes its final decision — if we can stun them with a giant global opposition when they least expect it, we can stop this reckless deal.

Frankenfish is on the verge of being approved — let’s make sure biotech companies don’t decide what we eat. Help build one million voices to stop the mutant fish:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_frankenfish_r/?brpgHdb&v=21124

Avaaz members have come together to protect the natural world and our food system from dangerous meddling. In 2010, over 1 million of us spoke out against genetically modified food in Europe. Let’s come together again to stop Frankenfish.

With hope,

Jamie, Nick, Emma, Dalia, Emily, Paul, Ricken, Wen-Hua and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION

Engineered Fish Moves a Step Closer to Approval (NY Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/business/gene-altered-fish-moves-closer-to-federal-approval.html

GM salmon: FDA’s assessment of environmental risks (LA Times)
http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-aquabounty-salmon-fda-assesses-risks-20121224,0,2554480.story

Genetically Modified Animals (Women’s Health Magazine)
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/genetically-modified-animals

Protect our waters from GE Salmon (Center for Food Safety)
http://ge-fish.org/

Below the Surface: The Dangers of Genetically Engineered Salmon (Food & Water Watch)
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/factsheet/below-the-surface/

Genetically Engineered Salmon (Ocean Conservancy)
http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/aquaculture/aquaculture-genetically.html

Employment boost as Waterlooville business park plans are unveiled


I have been a tad busy with work for the last few weeks and have found it virtually impossible to get my head into blog mode let alone focus on local affairs. So I am sorry but this is old news but I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Finally, The News has discovered the planned development right here in Waterlooville. No not the enormous housing development known as WoW (West of Waterlooville). Even The News knows about that. No I’m referring to the development of the BAE site that I brought to your attention in my previous post

This is another of the Havant Borough Council / Portsmouth City Council/ East Hants Council job creation schemes. At least that’s what they say on paper. All of the proposed developments around Waterlooville are supposed to be creating jobs. But not one of them is being sponsored by any company that has signed up to move into the area and actually create those jobs.

The various councils will argue that you have to create the right conditions, prepare the environment to entice these erstwhile employers into the area. However, my fear is that what will be created will be empty commercial / industrial buildings.

We will have the new housing developments filled with a willing work force but no one to employ them. It is easier to build homes and to fill them than it is to get businesses started.

Just listen to the news regarding the economy and the apparent unwillingness of the banks to lend to businesses. To be quite honest I also wonder about the ability of folks to obtain mortgages to buy the new homes being built.

Employment boost as Waterlooville business park plans are unveiled – News – Portsmouth News.

Development Benefits – Really


The residents of Sarisbury Green have my sympathy.

The planners are doing it again. Selling the “benefits” of a new development assuming that the locals are gullible enough to be distracted from the reality.

Miller Homes and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have submitted plans to Fareham Borough Council to build 168 homes and 40 sheltered housing units on the old Coldeast Hospital site in Sarisbury Green.

The plans also include the restoration and extension of the existing Mansion House, which would become a hotel, and a project for Brook Lane Lodge to become a house again.

A swimming pool, sports pitches, a cemetery, allotments and a new community building with changing facilities also form part of the plans.

Anyone who travels through this area on a regular basis will know that the traffic levels are already horrendous. The local roads feed the A27 which in turn feed two major junctions of the M27. Junction 9 to the East with the notorious Segensworth / Whitely road network and Junction 8 to the West.

Rachel Allinson of the Coldeast Action Group, appears to be resigned to the development.

‘We don’t believe that we can stop it. Our view now is to minimise the impact that it will have and try and make it as few dwellings as possible and make sure that there is adequate green space.’

Well I wish you good luck with that. The powers that be seem to be hell-bent on covering every last bit of green in the south of England. The “Western Wards” has been in the spotlight for many years. Solent City just keeps creeping closer and closer.

The council, typically, are viewing this development through the obligatory rose-tinted planning goggles.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council, said: ‘Overall, there is tremendous support for the community benefits. We have been working to achieve this for the past 20 years.

‘Without doubt there will have to be some amendments to the housing side. There is understandable concern in terms of the impact on traffic, schools and doctors.’

Those rose-tinted goggles obviously come with special ear plugs which prevent the wearer from hearing any dissenting comments.

The traffic is going to be horrendous, as it is already – Politics – Portsmouth News.

More “Penny Mordaunt” Headline Grabbing


In these austere times it is so good to know that Ms. Mordaunt has the time to devote to fighting the ivory trade.

Portsmouth North’s Penny Mordaunt has pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s campaign to protect elephants from poachers.

Don’t take this the wrong way. I too am against the ivory trade that is based on such cruelty. There are however more important, local, issues that Penny Mordaunt could and should be focussed on.

She said: ‘We must take the lead in the international community to stop elephants dying to fuel the ivory trade.

I believe this country has been a long time supporter of the fight against animal cruelty in general and this cruel crime in particular. Many members of the general public already contribute to various funds and charities.

What the cynics amongst us don’t need is our local MPs jumping on various emotive bandwagons to up their public profiles on the run up to local elections.

Portsmouth North MP backs anti-ivory trade campaign – Environment – Portsmouth News.

Dunsbury Hill Farm – New Development Proposal Affects on Waterlooville


Today I received a letter from HBC (Havant Borough Council) pertaining to the proposed development of the Dunsbury Hill Farm site, adjacent to the A3(M).

The description of the development is as follows:

Site Address: Dunsbury Hill Farm, Park Lane, Cowplain, Waterlooville

Proposed Development: Hybrid planning application comprising a part outline application relating to employment uses and a hotel with conference  facilities and a part detailed application for a new link road with bus gate to Woolston Road; together with landscaping, infrastructure and associated works.

I am sure that they don’t intend to hide what this development really means but on first reading I was quite happy to go along with it. After all a new hotel and conference centre would not increase the daily traffic levels and road traffic noise. The additional employment opportunities that this would bring is also to welcomed.

However, without reading the actual proposal one is not likely to see what this really is. In their own words …

… proposed development of agricultural land at Dunsbury Hill Farm, Havant into a business and technology park with hotel, conference facilities and associated infrastructure

The  development proposal includes the creation of a new roundabout and potential dualling of a section of the Hulbert Road. In addition there are plans to create a new parking area double the area of the current lay-bys this development will replace. All of this is an indication of the increased traffic that the developers are anticipating.
I have lived in this area since 1985. The survey that I had on my house at the time carries a final comment

shame about the noise from the motorway

Over the years  I have become aware of the increasing noise levels and the changing nature of the noise. Waterlooville, specifically Junction 3 (J3), the junction of the B2150 with the A3(M),  has become something of a hub for the emergency services. As a result anyone living near to this junction will have noticed the increased siren activity. If recent news articles are to be believed the newly opened Hindhead Tunnel is also contributing to increased noise levels along the A3(M) due to heavy goods traffic choosing the A3(M) in preference to the M3 now that the Hindhead traffic jams have been eliminated.
The application pack includes  tables indicating noise levels. The constant theme running through the comments section is

A3 constant and dominant.

What is wrong with these tables is that they are taking noise level reading from a point on the centre line of the A3(M) into the development area and on into Calshot Road & Park Lane areas of Leigh Park. No measurements seem to have been taken from the Waterlooville side of the A3(M).

Yet this is the area that will probably be most affected by the additional traffic generated by the new development.

The location of this new development makes total sense when you consider the easy access to the motorway. Allowing traffic to clear the area very quickly.  However, the very fact that all that traffic will be coming and going via J3 of the A3(M) is going to have a negative effect on the area.

Presumably the planners are thinking that this new development will provide jobs for the soon to be residents of the Berewood (ex Newlands) development on the opposite side of Waterlooville. Did they also consider the additional traffic that will inexorably be sucked across the town ? Such traffic will also be using the J3 roundabout.

I also have other questions, ones that I have asked in other of my posts …

  1. Are there any potential tenants who have committed to take up residence of these new units when they are built ?
  2. Has a major hotel chain registered any interest in running this proposed hotel and conference centre ?
  3. Was the land adjacent to Junction 2, Horndean, considered as the site for this development ? If it was, why was it rejected since there is less potential for affecting local residents and the motorway access is just as good ?I am assuming that the answer is that the land comes under East Hampshire District Council rather than Portsmouth City Council.

I am the first to bemoan the fact that the planners don’t seem to have done much to provide employment for the residents of Waterlooville. So I am loath to be totally negative about this proposed development. However, I don’t believe that the planners have got the true measure of the impact that this development will have.

As usual the only people who will truly gain from this are the developers and, for a short while, the folks employed to carry out the construction.

Warning that congestion woes could get worse – Local Council Won’t Listen To Residents


Community leaders spoke of their concerns about congestion and parking as plans for 79 homes at Brockhampton went on show.

Developer Orchard Homes wants to build 64 houses and 15 flats on green space to the south of Ranelagh Road, an area once used for allotments.

The meeting at Havant’s council chamber heard the land had been identified as an area that could accommodate 160 homes – and this could be phase one.

Havant Borough Council have already shown that they don’t care about local residents views by their continuing development approvals. They just play lip service to residents comments at review meetings. In the last couple of years every possible piece of greenfield that has been earmarked for development has gone through. The traffic problems brought about by this rampant development just get worse. This particular development will bring an extra 150 to 400 vehicles passing in and out of the area and will of course require somewhere to park.

Paul Basham, a transport consultant for the developers, told the meeting: ‘We are aware there is an existing problem there.

‘What we can do about this is a difficult situation.

‘We are working with Havant Borough Council to see what we can do, if anything.’

People’s comments will now be taken forward as developers work up a formal planning application.

Don’t hold your breath folks. The planners won’t have to live with their decisions. Nor will Paul Basham who says

‘We are working with Havant Borough Council to see what we can do, if anything.’

The implication there is that they will proceed regardless of if they can provide a solution thereby exacerbating the problem.
Warning that congestion woes could get worse – Local – The News.

Plans for business hub at Daedalus given the go-ahead


Thousand of new jobs can be expected for the region after plans for the creation of a huge new business hub were given the green light.

Outline planning permission to provide more than 1m sq ft of business space has been granted for the former HMS Daedalus airfield in Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent.

Good News for the Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent communities. Any potential for new jobs are always welcome.

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport council, said: ‘We are talking about creating potentially 4,500 jobs from this particular site.

‘What we are being asked is to kick-start the economy again here in Gosport. It’s jobs that are critical.’

4500 jobs is not to be sneezed at. I think the key word we should focus on in that statement is “potentially”. Nowhere do I see the local council publicising that any companies have committed to moving into the area.

There will also be more than 200 homes, some shops, allotments and a 34-acre public open space.

Nobody disputes that we need more homes in this area. More affordable homes. The big problem is where are all the jobs that are needed by the inhabitants of these homes. I refer you back to that word again ….. “potentially” 4500 jobs….

Another factor that might have slipped under the readers radar is a little matter of a new housing development planned for just north of Fareham. There they are planning to create over 7000 homes. The “potential” inhabitants of those properties also have their beady little eyes on jobs in the “The Daedalus enterprise zone”.

Underlying all of this is the total lack of infrastructure to support these plans.

Ian Lycett, chief executive of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘The Daedalus enterprise zone is a vitally important project for Gosport. Not only will it create thousands of jobs for local people, but it will generate improvements to the surrounding infrastructure which will benefit all residents of the peninsula.’

Peter Grimwood, chief executive of Fareham Borough Council, added: ‘This is an important milestone in the development of Daedalus. We have always taken the view that the future of the site depends on the operation of a viable airfield.’

What I see here is, two different councils, each with their eye on the main chance.

Watch your backs !!!

For the moment, the only folks that I see will definitely gain from this is the developers.

Plans for business hub at Daedalus given the go-ahead – Politics – The News.