Hundreds of people are expected to protest plans for thousands of homes near the old Hampshire forest area while an independent inspector will review the proposals.

More than 500 activists, including members of the Eastleigh Action Group on Action Against Destructive Development (ADD), are expected on Friday (November 22) at the Botleigh Grange Hotel and Spa in Hedge End to voice concerns about plans for 5,200 new homes to express. Shops, schools, open spaces and a new driveway on land between Bishopstoke and Fair Oak.

As previously reported, the proposals are part of the Eastleigh Borough Council's local plan and have triggered a heated debate among local residents and activists in recent years.

An independent Planning Inspector will now review the proposals before deciding whether the proposed local plan is sound or not.

Council President Keith House has defended the plan for a new community between Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, stating that this is the "only viable way" to provide much-needed homes and infrastructure.

But ADD members who have opposed it for years will once again express their concern on Friday.

John Lauwyers, chairman of ADD, said: "There are many people who are very upset about Eastleigh Local Plan and the fact that the city council has repeatedly refused to listen to the opinions of local people. The plan is very dangerous to the environment, it will pose a threat to the old forests, the Itchen, which is one of the last chalk streams in the country. "

Mr Lauwyers said the new development would generate more car journeys and conflict with the climate emergency recently declared by the City Council.

Planning experts and a lawyer will represent the ADD members at the public hearing with the Planning Inspector on Friday morning.

Mr Lauwyers emphasized, however, that the protest, which will take place at 8.30 am before the beginning of the hearing, will be peaceful.

"This is just a presence. It's about gathering and showing how strong the community feels. It's a symbol of people's anger and resistance to a very bad plan, "he added.

Cllr House struck back and said, "The reality is that where councils suggest new houses, existing residents object. At least with the Council's proposals, we can uniquely improve the quality of life of existing and new residents. Young people today have an impossible task to reach the guide. Through our local plan, we will also offer quality homes for rent to all with the option to purchase them later. "

Residents wishing to attend the demonstration are encouraged to share cars and look up the ADD website as more transportation arrangements are to be made.