RESIDENTS in Otterbourne turned out for a packed meeting to voice objections to plans which will see thousands of homes built on the border between Winchester and Eastleigh.

Otterbourne Parish Council, who oppose the plans, invited John Lauwerys from Action against Destructive Development (ADD) to give a talk instructing residents of the best way to show their objections.

ADD have so far raised £60,000 to hire a team of experts to battle the plans which will see 5,200 new homes built near ancient woodland between Fair Oak and Bishopstoke.

It was suggested that residents make their objections known in writing before the end of the consultation period, which runs until August 8.

Mr Lauwerys said that the development equated to building a town the size of Petersfield or three Colden Commons, and that the proposed new link road to the M3, via the Allbrook railway bridge, would cause traffic chaos in the area.

“The new road was originally talked about as a bypass. Cllr Keith House maintained it would be a bypass. He has said that as a result of the road in 2036 traffic will be no more congested than it is now.

“We believe it is going to get worse and this new development will bring an additional 26,000 traffic movements a day.”

“What happens when it’s congested? People go through Twyford or Otterbourne, or they go through the small villages of Owslebury and Upham. We believe there is going to be a huge increase in traffic.

“It’s not a bypass in any sense of the word. What the people of the southern parishes will face is a massive increase in traffic.”

The plans, which form part of Eastleigh Borough Council’s (EBC) new local plan, were recently backed by Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, who said: “The basic strategy the council has adopted seems to be right, which is to build ambitious housing developments combined with a good environmental policy.

“My understanding is that they are trying to create garden villages to protect the green land between Eastleigh and Southampton.

“But the basic point is that this is an area that is desperate for new houses and there must be a substantial increase in supply.”

However, resident and former councillor Anne Bailey said that many Liberal Democrats do not support the plans and that Vince Cable had been hoodwinked.

Following the consultation launch, EBC said: “Our plan outlines a vision for the borough: to ensure development in Eastleigh borough and its communities delivers a strong and sustainable economy with an adequate supply of housing and infrastructure that supports improved standards of living for residents.”