Solent secrets

We’re delighted to have an expert on the Solent’s wildlife as guest speaker after our AGM. Non-members welcome – the private business session should finish by 7.30 – but please let Sandra know you’re coming.

Tell us when the sea stinks

Hill Head beaches need up-to-date advice to say when it’s unhealthy to swim, says local environment campaigner Meg Lampard.

Meg is urging Fareham Council to install information boards at Salterns and the Meon Shore to warn of sewage releases, and Crofton Lib Dems are giving her campaign full backing. Sewage discharge into coastal waters and rivers has become a major national issue in recent weeks, and Hill Head is in the front line.

The prime need is for the Government to stop dragging its heels and force water companies to act to stop spills, but our beaches need protection in the meantime.

Southern Water’s Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) pipe at Hill Head released as recently as November 2, contaminating the area with untreated raw sewage combined with local run off water.

We’re all aware of the huge post-pandemic increase in swimming, paddle-boarding and other water sports, which now take place all year round.

Portsmouth is working with Southern Water to install powered boards with live information about spills. Fareham needs to do the same to keep our lovely beaches safe to enjoy.
See the full text of Meg’s proposal.

Just for the record…

Fareham’s Revised Local Plan, submitted to the Housing Secretary of State on September 30, proposes to allow the building of more than 1,000 homes east of Peak Lane and south of Longfield Avenue, and more than 100 homes south of Oakcroft Lane and west of Peak Lane.

Both sites are in Stubbington ward, and in the Strategic Gap, and your LIb Dem team have consistently opposed applications in these areas..

In leaflets delivered before the elections in May 2021, Conservative candidate Pal Hayre pledged:

“If elected, I will oppose and vote against further building in Stubbington – the infrastructure simply isn’t there.”

She was duly elected … and here’s what happened:

From the minutes of Fareham Borough Council meeting, June 7, 2021:

Having been duly proposed and seconded, and upon being put to the vote, the
recommendations (a) to (d) of the Revised Publication Local Plan Consultation
report were CARRIED
with Councillors I Bastable, Mrs S M Bayford, F Birkett,
Miss J Bull, T M Cartwright, Mrs L E Clubley, M R Daniells, P J Davies, T
Davies, S Dugan, Mrs T Ellis, J Englefield, M J Ford, N Gregory, Miss T
Harper, Mrs P Hayre, Mrs C L A Hockley, Mrs K Mandry, S D Martin, Ms S
Pankhurst, N J Walker, Mrs S Walker and S D T Woodward voting in favour … and Councillors J Forrest, G Kelly, Mrs J Kelly, R H Price and Mrs K K Trott
voting against.

Tories and Independents caved in and supported building in the Strategic Gap: Lib Dems stuck to their guns and continue to oppose it.

Lost countryside – for what?

Below is a submission Stubbington Councillor Jim Forrest made to the consultation on Fareham’s Local Plan.

Lib Dems on the Council voted against the plan. We believe the Council should have stuck to the plan they agreed in December 2019 which was based on a lower and more up-to-date assessment of housing need. Large stretches of Fareham’s countryside will be destroyed to meet out-dated and unrealistic targets.

On specific proposals for Stubbington, Jim argued that the Government inspector who will rule on the soundness of the plant should remove Housing Allocations HA55 (1250 homes south of Longfield Avenue) and HA 54 (180 homes at Oakcroft Lane, near Crofton Cemetery.

Jim writes:

“Allocation HA 55, south of Longfield Avenue, is a new salient into the Strategic Gap rather than a coherent extension of the urban area. The proposals are said to include provision to “maximise the open nature of the existing landscape”, but the “green infrastructure” indicated includes a high proportion of parkland, play space and a sports hub. Presentations in Council have suggested a large part of this will be sports pitches or playing fields.

“This will transform much of the area into a bland, suburban landscape, rather than a stretch of mainly farmed countryside – more tha a kilometre wide even at its narrowest point – which changes with the seasons. The nightscape of predominantly dark sky will be lost in a huge increase in artificial lighting.

“The allocation should also be viewed in conjunction with allocation HA54 (Oakcroft Lane near Crofton Cemetery) and with the Stubbington bypass, whose junction with Peak Lane will be light-controlled. Taking these together, the Strategic Gap will shrink to a few metres around what will inevitably be a busy junction at all times of day. 

“At present, all residents travelling between surrounding parts of Fareham, Stubbington, Hill Head and western Gosport benefit from a clear sense of separation, as they pass from one urban landscape, through a stretch of countryside and into another quite distinct settlement.

“That sense of separation will be entirely lost: Allocations HA55 and HA 54 are at odds with the Local Plan’s aspirations fro “the conservation and enhancement of natural and historic landscapes and assets ” (Paragraph 1.2). They should therefore fail the test of soundness.”

Lib Dems have also pointed out the unsoundness of the proposed housing allocation HA 56 on land west of Downend Road.

As well as exacerbating traffic pressures from other development east of Downend Road, the allocation proposes an access road from the slip road between the M27’s Junction 11 and the Delme roundabout which will pose huge problems on the main route between central FAreham and the motorway.

IFA2 passes all tests

National Grid report that the IFA2 Interconnector at Daedalus has completed its testing process, and meets all the planning condcitions set by Fareham Council.

The station is quieter than expected -during a quiet night noise levels are around 10 decibels lower than background noise.

There are no significant emissions that would impact radio frequencies used by radio and TV receivers, mobile phones, GPS systems or aviation and maritime safety systems.

See National Grid’s report here.

Thanks to National Grid and all the local organisations who have worked with them to ensure the project is a good neighbour as well as a big contributor to Britain’s energy supplies.

Newgate Lane – victory for residents

Plans for up to 190 homes at Peel Common have been refused by a Planning inspector after the lengthy appeal hearing earlier this year.

It’s great news for residents in Newgate Lane, Woodcote Lane and Albert Road who would have seen their semi-rural community more than double in size.

The effects on the community, impact on the countryside, and safety at the junction of the old and new Newgate Lane were the main objections cited by the Inspector.

You can see his judgment here.

His comments substantially echo the points we and local residents made at the hearing (see “Newgate Lane – a Sense of Place” below.

Airport update

Here is the latest newsletter from Solent Airport management – sadly, the popular Spitfires will be elsewhere until the autumn.

They also report that the CAA has investigated noise complaint and found no rule breaches – though it would have been good to have a link to the actual report.

See the newsletter here.