New housing target draws in concern for Southampton’s green spaces

GREEN spaces across Southampton could be threatened by new housing targets of over 100,000 new homes across South Hampshire.

Concerns are being raised that the countryside in Southampton is under threat after it was announced by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) that a total of 106,500 new homes would need to be built across the Hampshire coastal belt from Southampton to Portsmouth by 2036, some of which have already been agreed on.

More houses are due to be built in Hampshire by 2036
More houses are due to be built in Hampshire by 2036. Photo: Staff reporter. 

PUSH is a partnership combining Hampshire County Council, local councils including Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight as well as eight district authorities.

Councillor Sean Woodward, chairman of PUSH and leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “Eastleigh would take about 20,000 and Fareham would take about 10,000. The biggest challenges would be finding room in Southampton and Portsmouth.”

Its strategy will be under consultation before being published near year.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has also launched a petition to protect the countryside space in Hampshire by making sure that Southampton is closed off by a Green belt which would ensure the urban areas of South Hampshire are liveable communities and would limit further encroachment.

Dee Haas, chairman of CPRE Hampshire, said: “Today Hampshire is facing many challenges and there are huge pressures to grow our economy and build more houses. We must plan effectively, fulfilling and valuing our countryside and environment.

“We live in one of the world’s most advanced and prosperous countries and we must plan growth with a responsibility to our communities, both urban and rural and our delicate environment.

“More unplanned and uncoordinated sprawl is not an acceptable way ahead.”

The new homes could potentially threaten the green spaces in Southampton
The new homes could potentially threaten the green spaces in Southampton. Photo: Staff reporter. 

The Hampshire branch of the CPRE is currently working on its strategic vision, which will aim to create a balanced and manageable growth for all who live and work in Hampshire.

So far, the petition has already received nearly 10,000 signatures in just two weeks amid fears that Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester could eventually merge.

by Sophie Squires (@squires_sophie), Josh Stokes (@JoshuaStokesUK), James Wootton (@JamesWootton95), Abbie Jones (@AbbieJSolent) and Hannah Watkins (@hannahwatkins99)