Hamble residents take gravel battle to the Prime Minister
2:10pm Monday 30th September 2013
RESIDENTS are to take their concerns over controversial gravel extraction plans in their village straight to the Prime Minister’s doorstep.
Jim Vintner has started a petition, addressed to David Cameron, against the inclusion of Hamble Airfield in the county council’s plans for sand and gravel extraction agreed by councillors last week.
He claims the council has ignored residents’ views and fears it could harm the village’s economy.
The 47-year-old, of Satchell Lane, hopes to get 4,000 signatures, roughly the population of Hamble, then to deliver it to 10 Downing Street.
The county council’s Minerals and Waste Plan, which could see millions of tonnes of sand and gravel extracted from sites across Hampshire every year, was approved by county councillors last week.
Mr Vintner said he does not know anybody in favour and cannot see any benefits for Hamble.
He is concerned about increased traffic on already congested roads and believes it could affect the boating industry because yacht owners will moor elsewhere.
He said the land is owned by developer Persimmon Homes and he fears that once the site is used for gravel extraction it will become brownfield making it susceptible to housing development.
Mr Vintner claims there are more appropriate sites, arguing gravel could be taken from the Solent. A resident of Hamble for 15 years, Mr Vintner would even consider leaving the village if gravel extraction goes ahead.
“I just want to get it to a wider audience,” he said.
“Let’s find out if he [David Cameron] takes things seriously.” Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy, environment and transport Councillor Seán Woodward said sites put forward for development were assessed against stringent criteria, including the effect on surrounding areas, and residents consulted and Hamble Airfield was fully considered by the p l a n n i n g inspector.
He added that any future applications for d eve l o p m e n t would be assessed on their merit and determined on the basis of the plan, which includes ensuring that applications address the mitigation of the impact of development on local communities and the environment.