Campaigners hit out at month-long Fareham homes consultation

DEVELOPMENT The area north of Fareham where new homes are planned
DEVELOPMENT The area north of Fareham where new homes are planned
Copperfields Hair Studio, on Hayling Avenue in Baffins. Picture: Google Street View PPP-171118-153719001

Hair salon in Baffins damaged by thieves

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Have your say

CAMPAIGNERS in Fareham have criticised council leaders for giving the public just a month to have their say on thousands of new homes.

CAMPAIGNERS in Fareham have criticised council leaders for giving the public just a month to have their say on thousands of new homes.

Fareham Borough Council will consult residents throughout July on proposals for a new town north of the M27.

Around 50,000 homes across Fareham, Knowle and Wickham will be sent questionnaires asking for their views on three different options for the development.

But David Walton, of the Wallington Village Community Association, described it as ‘another feeble attempt at consultation’.

‘It’s a very short period of time and we are running into the school holidays,’ he said.

‘It’s all incredibly vague.Fareham has been criticised over the last two years for a very poor level of consultation with residents. People will remain cynical until they prove they will start consulting with transparency.’

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council, defended the consultation, adding: ‘A month is perfectly reasonable.

‘It’s in the public domain already. People can be looking at that now. We want to keep the public involved as we have done in the past.

‘The fact is, yes, we have been criticised but we would challenge any resident in the borough not to be aware that we are pursuing the building of a new community north of Fareham. We are trying to consult on every aspect of it as the plans progress.’

One option includes between 5,300 and 5,800 homes – 2,000 fewer than originally stated. Another proposes up to 7,250 properties.

Cllr Woodward said the numbers may be altered.

‘It’s all a balance of the community views and the viability of the scheme,’ he said. ‘If we went for the third option then viability would become a concern for the developers and we might have to increase the density so it would be nearer to 6,000 homes than 5,000 to make sure it’s viable. It’s very rough.’

In a bid to appease campaigners, Cllr Woodward said he was determined to keep large parts of the area as green fields.

‘It’s absolutely critically important bearing in mind that at the moment most of it is green,’ he said.

‘We want to make sure that we have at least 40 per cent of it, after the development is completed, as green.’

Cllr Pam Bryant, who has campaigned to keep green land, said: ‘I want as much green space as possible. It’s extremely important.’

In late 2010, the council accused campaign groups of hijacking the consultation process online. The council says it has not got any procedures in place yet to avoid this happening again.

The consultation will run from July 2 until July 31.

A decision will be made by the council’s executive board later this year.

To have your say visit fareham.gov.uk/haveyoursay

Or go to the following public exhibitions:

· Monday July 16, 2pm to 7pm at Ferneham Hall, Osborn Road, Fareham.

· Wednesday July 18, 2pm to 7pm at Funtley Social Club, 84 Funtley Road, Funtley

· Thursday July 19, 2pm to 7pm at Ferneham Hall, Osborn Road, Fareham

· Wednesday July 25, 4pm to 7pm at Knowle Village Hall, Greater Horseshoe Way, Knowle

· Thursday July 26, 4pm to 7pm at Wickham Community Centre, Mill Lane, Wickham

THE OPTIONS

THERE are three options for how the new site will be developed.

· Option 1

A full site development with an employment area at Junction 11 of the M27. This would hold between 6,650 and 7,250 homes with up to 87,700sq m of employment floorspace. A link road would either be provided to support the traffic or Junction 10 would be improved.

· Option 2

No employment area at Junction 11, and partial development east of the A32. This would hold between 6,300 and 6,850 homes with up to 82,850sq m of employment floorspace.

· Option 3

Development west of the A32 only. This would hold between 5,300 and 5,800 homes with up to 72,000sq m of employment floorspace. Only three primary schools would be provided instead of the four in the other options.