Do nothing?

Chapter 4 of the Environmental Statement (Consultation and Alternatives) threatens the locality with SIAL moving elsewhere [e.g. 4.3.6], but does not address the benefits of doing nothing, which “is not an alternative option that has been considered further”. [4.3.8]. Rather odd, as Appendix 6.1 refers to ‘business as usual’ leading to 3.3 million jobs and an extra 300 jobs by 2037 – not a whiff of the airport ‘going under’.

Also unaddressed is the road tunnel under the extended runway that would be required to access to the proposed development north-east of the airport [Eastleigh BC supports this e.g. section 6.4.38 of the Eastleigh Local Plan 2016-2036 https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/media/2053/appendix-1-eastleigh-borough-local-plan-2016-2036.pdf] and to any Chickenhall Road link (across the Fareham-Eastleigh railway line). Tunneling under the runway is clearly more problematic than not tunneling. The last proposed route north of the runway was roughly the same distance from the northern end of the current runway that the M27 is from the southern end of the runway. Therefore if the current southern end road is deemed safe so should a northern one. Tunneling should not be required under the ‘do nothing scenario’.

Tunneling in the vicinity of land with contamination and the resulting effects on the River Itchen, needs to be avoided if an alternative can be found. [https://axosouthampton.wordpress.com/2019/10/27/southern-damselfly-at-risk/].

If SIAL were to take its ball home ( because it could make bigger profits elsewhere) and withdraw from the airport, it is perhaps desirable (on economic as well as social and environmental ground) that, if a small regional airport airport really were unviable, the airfield were to be put to alternative use. Might Eastleigh BC commission a feasibility study of moving the ‘Allbrook, Bishopstoke Fair Oak’ housing development further south, for example? [ https://add-eastleigh.org/ ]

Alternative scenarios associated with ‘Do Nothing’ require serious consideration.

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