A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stop massive housing developments from threatening the countryside east of Basingstoke.

A residents’ group, which has formed under the banner of Save our Loddon Valley Environment (SOLVE), has launched a petition opposing proposals for 10,000 homes in the Loddon Valley to meet ambitious Government housing plans.

The area adjoins Old Basing, Chineham and Newnham.

SOLVE chairman Kate Tuck, 46, of The Street, Old Basing, said: “There is very much a concern locally about the way any development would affect not only the River Loddon and the wildlife, but the village area and its way of life.

“It would be like adding a whole new town the size of Tadley next to Old Basing.

“We don’t want to be adversarial and it is not that we are against any development, but we think this is the wrong place.”

The petition, which currently has 250 signatures, will be handed over at a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning and infrastructure overview and scrutiny committee meeting at the Civic Offices on Tuesday.

Councillors at this meeting will debate the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), which outlines areas proposed for development.

The SOLVE petition claims housing plans in the Loddon area are wrong because:
- They fly in the face of the Environment Agency which advises against building homes by the Loddon because of flooding risk.
- They would threaten the unique natural benefits of the valley and its world famous chalk stream.
- Roads, sewers, water and power supplies could not cope with a significant surge in population.
Basingstoke MP Maria Miller, who has signed the petition, said: “Local residents are increasingly concerned about levels of pollution in the River Loddon.”

The MP has backed a new flood and water management bill that would hold councils and other local authorities responsible if local rivers are damaged by “unsustainable levels of house building”.

You can sign the petition by visiting petitiononline.com/ SOLVE2/petition.html.