A battle is brewing as a party leader has positioned himself against six councillors attempting to lower house building targets for Alton.

Councillors Ginny Boxall, Suzie Burns, Graham Hill, Steve Hunt, Warren Moore and Emily Young penned an open letter (published in full below) to Alton residents and EHDC leaders collectively voicing concerns about the “disproportionally high” allocation of 1,700 extra homes for Alton in the draft Local Plan.

But in his own letter (also published below) Cllr Andy Tree has publicly announced he would like to “fight back” against those in Alton who are trying to reduce the town’s housing allocation.

Fewer homes for Alton

Dear residents and East Hampshire District Council leadership,

We, the Alton East Hampshire district councillors, collectively voice our concern regarding the current housing allocation for Alton, which we believe to be disproportionately high compared to other areas within our district. 

While we understand the necessity for housing development to meet growing demands, the current allocation for Alton places an undue burden on our community. 

We believe in the importance of fair and equitable distribution of housing across the district, ensuring that the impact is shared more evenly. 

Alton is an historic market town with sites of important ecology and biodiversity and is a vibrant and unique part of our district. We are committed to preserving its character and maintaining a sustainable balance between growth and the preservation of our local environment. 

We believe that a reduction in the housing numbers allocated to Alton will better align with the needs and capacities of our community. 

Our goal is not to hinder progress, but rather to ensure that development is thoughtful, balanced, and considerate of the local environment. We invite constructive dialogue and collaboration with residents, stakeholders, and fellow councillors to find a solution that benefits both the district as a whole and our treasured town of Alton. 

Together, let us work towards a future where housing development respects the distinctiveness of each community within our district, producing a sustainable living environment for all. 

Cllr Ginny Boxall 

Cllr Suzie Burns 

Cllr Graham Hill 

Cllr Steve Hunt 

Cllr Warren Moore 

Cllr Emily Young

Give ‘em more!

I would like to FIGHT BACK against those in Alton who are trying to reduce their own housing allocation, where the outcome could be more housing for Whitehill & Bordon!

This is the position of the Whitehill & Bordon Community Party, which is also my personal position:

The proposed plan proposes 667 homes to be delivered in Whitehill & Bordon by 2040. This is out of the total number of 3,440, so 19.4 per cent of the total.

In contrast, Alton is now proposed to take 1,700 extra homes – more than two-and-a-half times as many as Whitehill & Bordon – and we support the allocations. We feel this is fair because the facilities and infrastructure are significantly greater in Alton, when compared to Whitehill & Bordon.

Alton is a traditional market town, has a train station, community hospital (not proposed to be closed, as with Chase Hospital in Bordon) and much larger leisure centre. Young people are also supported with a Sixth Form college.

We are concerned that any increase in housing in Whitehill & Bordon may stretch vital facilities and infrastructure must match growth. We express concern that the Health Hub is not yet 100 per cent confirmed and thus need to ensure there is adequate medical provision if Health Hub does not get built (eg supporting Chase Hospital), with Local Plan acknowledging this. We would like to see a requirement supporting public transport, eg via S106, as this is crucial for our community, especially where we have no train station.

We understand that the new town centre development is happening in its current location because that is where the MOD land became available. 

However, having a shopping area in the original town centre area of Bordon is extremely important in serving residents in this part of town and so we support regenerating the Forest Centre offering and ensuring shops remain in that part of Bordon.

Andy Tree

Party Leader

Whitehill & Bordon Community Party