The local planning authorities bordering the Solent are publishing development policies designed to meet government set targets for the construction of new homes for the years ahead. At first sight this seems an unlikely topic for the Solent Protection Society to dwell upon but it is of relevance to anyone interested in the future of the region.
Of particular importance to the Society, is the consequential impact of new development on our shores, estuaries and river banks? Certainly some, such as that at Fawley, will, but this replaces an already heavily developed shoreline. In other cases development may be some way from the coast but will be clearly visible from the water. We have taken up with various planning authorities around the Solent the potential damage caused to the seascape by proposed new building development and are pleased to see that some authorities are exercising control on this point within their latest development plans. Can we hope that all authorities will follow this lead?
The wider Solent must maintain its attraction as a place to live and work as well as continuing as a successful destination for holiday makers and yachtsmen. To this end development plans should have particular regard to the visual impact of new buildings on the approaches to the towns and villages surrounding the Solent.
Secondly, dare we make the point that the number of new homes proposed is going to increase demand for more school places as well as hospital beds and medical practices. Can the existing facilities cope? If not where are the additional buildings to be put?
These are matters for the authorities to consider. From Solent Protection’s position we will continue to monitor the proposals and endeavour to ensure that that the Solent and its environment are protected for future generations.