A £14M PLAN to modernise Fareham College by selling off land to a developer has been given the green light by councillors.
A hybrid planning application – two applications in one – went before Fareham Borough Council yesterday.
The first part of the plan will see college buildings at the Bishopsfield Road site either demolished and rebuilt or renovated.
The project will be funded by the second part of the plan – the sale of some of the college’s land.
The plan is for 120 homes to be built – 16 on green fields and the majority on brownfield land that currently has college buildings on.
On the committee Cllr Arthur Mandry said: ‘It is innovative and an excellent way to improve the college.
‘It is not something the government will pay for and to fund it involves selling off part of the land.’
Nine residents, the Labour party and the Fareham Society raised objections over the loss of wildlife and open spaces, increased traffic and overspill parking.
Cllr Roger Price said: ‘If we agree to this, then we set it in stone and I am not convinced.
‘If we don’t get it right, then it’s the residents who will suffer.’
Cllr Peter Davies said he was unhappy with the reduction of space for further education in the borough.
He labelled the plans as disgraceful and said 1,500 students are leaving the borough every day to study as Fareham College does not offer A-levels.
Councillors voted six in favour of the plans and three – Cllr Price, Cllr Davies
and Cllr Katrina Trott – against.
The councillors imposed several legal conditions to the permission; to protect trees and replant them, to ensure a footpath from Bishopsfield Road to Redlands Lane is made public; and that if the site causes problems with parking once it and its sister site in Lee-on-the-Solent, CEMAST, is open, then the college could be made to build more parking on site.
Deputy principal Peter Marsh said he was delighted with the decision, which was reached after more then two hours of debate.
Once complete, the plans will bring wider community benefits, such as more accessible public open space as 1.9 hectares of green land will be given to the council, a multi-use games area and a new cycle route.
The site will also consist of 20 per cent affordable housing.
Work will start in June and is expected to finish in September 2015.