House building numbers set locally not by Goverement

To say the housing numbers we have today is the sole fault of government is a gross exaggeration. The housing projections we have today never even went in front of all the members, simply a selective few.

While we wait for the Government to announce their final draft of the New National Planning Policy Framework, which will have to go before Parliament for approval and is expected to bring about crucial changes to future new housing projections here in Fareham, we should not lose sight of the fact, the present housing numbers now driving development in Fareham are not merely the fault of central government.

PUSH ( Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) is a partnership of the councils of: Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Eastleigh, East Hampshire, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, New Forest, Test Valley, and Winchester.

Old Street artist impression of housing development.

The assembly of Local council leaders, senior councillors and officers commissioned a number of studies to help them PUSH forward their plans for economic expansion.

Although the studies were prepared in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, to establish and distribute the objectively assessed needs for housing and economic growth over the long term period to 2034 across the PUSH area, PUSH gave a commitment that the final Housing objectively Assessed Housing Need figures would be consulted on through a public consultation.

Trying to find the link where they consulted US, the residents. Sadly there isn’t one, because we had no say.

That important consultation never materialised, it was effectively cancelled and the new housing numbers we see today that are driving the destruction of our greenfields were passed to each local authority for them to consult on through their revised Local Plan Reviews.

Artist Impression of the Ranvilles lane Planning application

The critical point is, although the likes of Fareham can demonstrate they have consulted through their Draft Local Plan review it is meaningless because the consultation is far too late in the planning process. The public does not have a chance of changing those figures at that stage, a fact which is well recognised.

So if you hear the words, it’s all the Government fault, please be mindful that is not the case. Local politicians across our region including Fareham played a role in the thousands in the housing figures we see today.

New houses being built in Daedalus

Revised local plan will be crucial for village

Fareham has to find sites for almost 3,500 extra homes in the next few years.

This is because of delays to the 6,000-home Welborne plan which the Tories said would meet housing need.

So a revised local plan is being discussed to find sites for these, while as far as possible preserving strategic gaps between built-up areas.

A recent Tory leaflet rightly pointed out that the Draft Local Plan rejects the Old Street proposal quoted above, and the plan for more than 1,000 houses at Newlands Farm. Both of these stay in the Strategic Gap

But the leaflet fails to mention that the Draft Plan redraws the Strategic Gap to allow for 475 homes east of Newgate Lane.

Isn’t that what used to be called “being economical with the truth”?

New houses being built in Daedalus

26 new houses in Green Belt

The derelict Grange House

26 houses on Ranvilles Lane and Oakcroft Lane

There has been a planning application for 26 houses on the land next to Ranvilles Lane and Oakcroft Lane near the Ark RSPCA centre.

It is controversial as part of the land is on the site of the derelict Grange House and part of the land is in the strategic gap between Stubbington and Fareham.

The Monkey puzzel tree on of the trees in the garden of Grange House

Although it would be welcomed for the removal of the derelict house which has unsurprising attracted vandals, the building on the strategic gap would set a precedent to developers that we are happy for the strategic to be built on.

The small section of land may be of little impact on the overall gap but if built on would just make another section the least impacting, until there is no gap left. It can be argued by developers that the site would form a spur into the Strategic Gap, which might be claimed as creating a new building line to justify further development. The strategic gap is either a green gap or it is not, it can’t be both.

Residents nearby are divided on the plan. Many would welcome demolition of The Grange, which is derelict and a target for vandals. One local has said “We would be very pleased to see the derelict property developed, which will hopefully deal with some of the recent vandalism we have experienced. We will also be happy to welcome new residents into our congregations.”

One local resident is concerned about the border with the cemetery and the unmarked graves.  and Others fear new homes would put new traffic onto Oakcroft Lane, which is already a rat-run.

Artist Impression of the Ranvilles lane Planning application. (link to original PDF)

The site of Grange house contains some lovely trees which would ideal to be preserved as part of any development.

Although the developer’s application says there is no cycle provision close by, both Ranvilles Lane and Oakcroft Lane are listed on the Fareham’s cycle map as link roads convenient for cyclists. (Ranvilles Lane is a lovely route into Fareham much nicer than Peak Lane.) The more traffic that is on these roads the more cyclist will be put off cycling resulting in even more cars and pollution.

Ranvilles Lane is an ancient travel route. Even kings and Queens used Ranvilles Lane as the main route from Winchester to Portsmouth.  King Henery VIII is believed to have traveled along the lane on the morning of the infamous sinking of the Mary Rose. He had stayed at Titchfield Abbey the night before and would have crossed the Meon river opposite the Abbey. Titchfield was still a sea fishing port at the time.  So the deep sunken road of Ranvilles Lane outside Grange House was dug by the wheels of royal horses, carts and carriages.

If you want to add your views, support or objections to the development please visit the Fareham.gov website application P/18/0263/OA

 

The site of the planning application for 26 new homes.
© OpenStreetMap contributors CC BY-SA

 

OLD Street – residents win first round

Fareham’s Planning Committee threw out the proposal for 150 homes on farmland west of Old Street.

This is an update to previous OLD Street stories:

Alex and Jim at site of Old street application.

Planners said the development would seriously harm the landscape, appearance and function of the countryside.

It would damage the integrity of the strategic gap and the physical and visual separation of settlements.

Old Street artist impression of housing development.

They added that lack of plans for sustainable transport would result in more traffic. (Documents supporting this and other applications have painted an inaccurate picture of bus services in Stubbington and Hill Head.)

Those reasons for refusal offer hope that other proposed schemes in the countryside separating Stubbington and Hill Head from urban Fareham will also be refused.

Bill Hutchison from Hill Head residents association made a clear argument of the objections of local residents. Also Barry Duffin spoke about the impact on the animals in the natural reserve. with 67 species of birds on the RSPB ‘red list’, 27% were on the winter and summer surveys submitted by the developer.

There has been some upset that Hampshire County Council countryside service and Natural England removed objection in exchange for land.

Old Street

The Committee backed residents’ concerns about the effects on wildlife of building more homes so close to the Titchfield Haven reserve.

The developers may now appeal to a Government planning inspector.

See Final Decision Document of the Planning application P/17/1451/OA

We’ll let you know through @LibDems4Crofton on Facebook if that happens

Lack of infrastructure

 

This is an important time for Fareham as the new Local Plan is being debated and residents views are being sought.

On Planning, we are continually questioning how decisions are reached and arguing for transparency. Residents justifiably complain to us of a lack of infrastructure accompanying new developments. Alex Brims wants the council to take a more assertive approach when developers say that it is not “viable” for them to provide affordable housing. We believe our Council should lobby central government to lift the borrowing limits for councils to build housing which is actually suited to the needs of the residents of our borough.

Old St decision – Wednesday 21st March

UPDATE: Planning meeting to be on Wednesday 21st March.

Old Street

 

Bargate Homes’ proposal to build 160 houses at Old Street is likely to come to Fareham’s Planning Committee in March.

Fareham planners have good grounds for rejecting it, because the Local Plan designates the site as part of the Countryside Gap separating Stubbington and Hill Head from Fareham.

Many residents were worried because planners recently agreed larger developments in Warsash.

However, those were on sites where proposed revisions to the Local Plan indicate that building would be allowed.

In contrast, a scheme at Titchfield on the other side of the Meon Valley was rejected because it also lies in the Countryside Gap.

We should emphasise though, that the Revised Local Plan is still under discussion and could be altered before it is put to the Government for approval.

The Old Street plans – and comments from public bodies – are on www.fareham.gov.uk Look for P/17/1451/OA

Update on our Old Street story 

LIDL: Fight to protect jobs

LIDL is being allowed to demolish its existing store in Newgate Lane, and the adjoining Apex Centre business units, to enable them to build a bigger store.

Three of the Planning Committee members voted against the proposal. They had tried to insist that the present store could not be demolished until the businesses in the Apex Centre are relocated.

But officers advised that planning rules would not allow such a condition.

Lidl say they will help the companies relocate – let’s hope they keep that promise, because there are some high quality products being made there, providing work, and work experience, for engineering students at CEMAST.

Delivery times to the new store will be limited, to help ease congestion.

IFA2: Safety and noise tackled

IFA2, the inter-connector project at Daedalus, took a step closer at recent Council meetings.

The plans have been modified, reducing the size of the building and improving landscaping proposals to reduce its impact.

Safety concerns have been addressed, with live tests to ensure aircraft instruments would not be affected, and there are important conditions in the planning permission to prevent excessive noise.

The plan will fund a swathe of open space and woodland stretching from Southways to Peel Common and including a children’s play area and a raised observation area.

We’ll continue to monitor the project to ensure it works to the benefit of local residents.

Read our earlier article NATIONAL GRID MUST KEEP PROMISES

Old Street: Builders slip in an unwelcome Christmas gift

Old Street


PLANS for some 150 houses on land to the west of Old Street have now been submitted.
Our autumn issues warned this was likely, and we alerted hundreds of residents through emails and our Facebook page when the plans were posted on the Council’s website.
The deadline for comments was January 12 – so the timing of the application just before the Christmas break meant the time available for many residents to voice their views was very limited.
You can see the application – ref P/17/1451/OA – at www.fareham.gov.uk
Fareham Council does not support the application. The
land is part of the Countryside Gap, even under the revised Local Plan now being considered.
But a Government inspector
over-ruled the Council’s refusal of a similar-sized scheme in Portchester.
We hope that the importance of this site as a buffer for the nationally important Titchfield Haven nature reserve will protect it from a similar fate.