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Friday, 22 July 2016

Test Lane: Our Open Letter to Developers

We have campaigned against this development for years.

We've asked the Labour Council Leader Simon Letts to stop the sale of Council land for the development. He refused. And Councillor Letts further insulted residents by suggesting they pay for a very expensive legal battle - a Judicial Review. Councillor Letts also stated that he didn't think that it was an issue that the development company is registered as a company in Jersey.

It still doesn't have final planning permission.

We have sent the below letter to the developers and their agents Evander.

We hope they scrap this development now.

We will keep fighting this development with residents.

Denise and Andrew


RE: Your South Central Proposal - Test Lane, Redbridge, Southampton
We write on behalf of hundreds of residents of Redbridge who urge you to reconsider, or preferably scrap, your plans for your unnecessary development at Test Lane / Gover Road in Southampton (so-called “South Central”). It is still very unpopular here and we advise that you will continue to receive stiff resistance from us and residents.
We have already successively delayed and modified the development, as well as adding to the conditions that you have to meet – including Section 106 and Section 278 agreements – which you still have failed to complete after such a long time. Perhaps you and Evander should have listened more carefully early on to the views of residents?
The current and future uncertainty of trading with the EU has resulted in a withdrawal of investment in property, demonstrated by several UK property investment funds ceasing trading recently.
Clearly there has been a slowdown in interest and further threats to viability are clear from an oversupply of distribution centres and warehousing that are already being built and planned in Nursling and Rownhams, very close to your proposal.
The above factors have reduced the need, the profitability and desirability of your proposed development in Test Lane. In addition, your development is “speculative” in your own words!
We repeat that we urge you to reconsider, or preferably scrap, your plans. Surely other developments are causing you less hassle and bringing less resistance than South Central?
Residents are also appalled that the Leader of Southampton City Council, Councillor Simon Letts, with whom you have negotiated a deal on his Council's land, does not believe it is a matter for the Council to decide not sell to tax havens - it’s down to Parliament he says! Do you agree? Jersey - where your Company is registered, cannot hide forever from tax penalties or increased scrutiny and democratic control. The UK HMRC have warned there are “No safe havens” - where will a crackdown leave you if Parliament acts? We believe you would struggle.
To repeat, we would also advise that we and residents will continue to campaign actively on the development. Residents are fully aware of the detail of the consent and will be monitoring every detail of the build very closely. They are being advised and guided by us – we are experienced and successful campaigners as we have already proved.
The site is also difficult with regard to wildlife as it adjoins a nature reserve that is protected by international laws; short-eared owls have repeatedly been photographed on site. There are also time limits when vegetation can be cleared and already you are behind schedule. Residents are in contact with an ecologist and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Unlike the Council we will protect the wildlife and environment – do you wish to do so as well?
If you do, you must scrap your unwanted and unnecessary proposal.
We await your response regarding your intentions for ceasing your investment in this site!
Be warned - the development will be watched! And the Redbridge Residents Association is motivated to stop you.

Independent Councillor Andrew Pope and Denise Wyatt
Millbrook, Redbridge and Maybush Independents

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