Consistent view over allotments

First published in Your Say

YOUR self-effacing correspondent “name and address supplied”

suggests that my speaking up about the proposal for 34 houses to be built on allotments in Whitchurch is related to the election on 22 May.

In fact, your reporter knew that the decision was due to be made on 7 May and asked for my opinion.

If you work all the year round something is bound to come up in May.

I told local people in a leaflet delivered exactly six years ago that “these allotments should stay as they are”.

On 11 June 2009, two allotment holders went to Basingstoke to support me in opposing the inclusion of the allotments as “suitable for housing development” in the earliest stage of the Local Plan.

My opinion has been consistent ever since.

However, the end of the article accurately quotes me as saying that a Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared to be put to a vote in a referendum, and if that leads to a decision that the allotments should be built on, I shall have to revise my view.

That is the same as my position on the site between Winchester Road and Micheldever Road.

Eric Dunlop and I informed people two years ago that, because the landowner had agreed to provide four hectares of land for playing fields and a relief road for Micheldever Road, we would support his proposals when the Neighbourhood Plan was being prepared.

A building firm now has an option on the land so we wait to see if they stand by that agreement. The final decision on sites for new homes will be made by local people in a referendum.

The anonymous letterwriter complains about my picture being on the front page of the Andover Advertiser of 25 April. I have no influence on where you print the news nor when you print my picture.

I hope it didn’t frighten any children.

Keith Watts, Whitchurch

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