TOWN COUNCIL OBJECTS TO MAJOR FAWLEY DEVELOPMENT Totton & Eling Town Councillor…

TOWN COUNCIL OBJECTS TO MAJOR FAWLEY DEVELOPMENT

Totton & Eling Town Councillors have decided to object to the proposed major development in and around the former power station site at Fawley.

The application was discussed at a meeting of the Planning Committee this week, concentrating on the likely impact it would have in this area of the New Forest District.

Members expressed support for the design and lay out of the scheme itself, commenting that it has great merit, including much needed housing and would create many jobs.

However, every Councillor who spoke expressed deep concern about the potential impact that such a scheme would have on the road network and the strong potential for causing traffic congestion along the A326, as far north as the Morrison's roundabout, traffic congestion along the A35 (especially in the area of Rushington roundabout), as well as worsening the serious air quality issues here.

The Town Council also recognised objections already expressed by Marchwood Parish Council, particularly that congestion on the A326 would lead to higher volumes of traffic running through Marchwood village centre and along Bury Road / Jacobs Gutter Lane.

Whilst the developers were prepared to fund some changes to the A326, there was nothing proposed for the bottlenecks that occur north of the Hythe area. It was also noted that the applicants had decided not to submit the restoration of the Waterside railway passenger service as part of the application.

Speaking after the meeting, Town, District & County Councillor, David Harrison says " This isn't a knock out blow to the scheme because the Town Council has no planning powers as such, it can only make representations to the District Council and National Park Authority.

However, I think there has been a failure to appreciate the consequences of likely traffic impacts on areas like Marchwood and Totton, that already suffer enough problems. I just don't see how any responsible authority could agree to anything that is likely to worsen traffic congestion and air quality in this area."

Cllr. Harrison adds "It's such a shame, because most people think the project is a very good one, beautifully designed with a lot of merit. Unfortunately, anyone that uses the A326 will never accept that you could build so many houses at Fawley without congestion, rat running and air quality becoming a major problem north of Hythe. It shouldn't be passed on a "hope for the best" basis. The issue needs addressing, not ignoring and a large part of that would be reinstating the rail passenger service along the Waterside".

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