What will it take to end 30 years of wrangling?

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VERITY LUSH: You’ll get by with a little help from your friends

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It’s no secret that our region is desperate for more housing.

And the location of that housing is crucial.

Naturally, no-one wants dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of new properties built on their doorstep

And of course it is the developer’s right to take a planning committee’s decision to appeal if it doesn’t go their way.

The council’s planners have to make sure that the reason they reject any proposals for are watertight on legitimate planning grounds.

Planning matters are often highly emotive for those directly involved, and anyone who has regularly attended planning meetings will get to see well-crafted and impassioned speeches by people both opposing and supporting developments.

But emotion-grabbing reasons are rarely sound ones for rejection – they have to be grounded in valid planning-based concerns.

However, with applications and their subsequent appeals for this site going back three decades, it is hardly surprising that people living around the Cranleigh Road area in Portchester describe the ongoing situation there as a ‘never-ending war.’

The latest plans for a 120-home housing estate were rejected by the local authority’s planners.

And with the Welborne development yet to get off the ground, there is a very legitimate concern that developers can attempt to take advantage of that delay to force housing in elsewhere.

Work was due to start on construction for the new 6,000 home town north of Fareham this year.

Fareham Borough Council has often sold the new town to its residents on the grounds that it would help prevent new homes on other greenfield sites across the borough.

In the meantime developers will continue to try and push other developments through.

Wasn’t this exactly the type of situation that the Localism Act was introduced to avoid, though?

Until a decisive ruling can be made on this matter, the people living in this area are going to be looking at many more battles.