Applications for 135 homes and new Lidl are popular talking points with residents at meeting

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  • Community meeting held in Portchester to discuss plans
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TWO major planning applications proved to be hot topics of debate as nearly 200 residents attended a community meeting.

The meeting was held at Portchester Community School, in White Hart Lane, Portchester, last night.

Cllr Sean Woodward addresses a Community Action Team meeting at Portchester Community School last night

Cllr Sean Woodward addresses a Community Action Team meeting at Portchester Community School last night

Scores of residents went along to hear an update from Fareham Borough Council’s leader Sean Woodward and Lee Smith, head of development at the council.

The main issues raised surrounded the progress of an unpopular planning application for 135 homes on Cranleigh Road, which was submitted to the council last year and is expected to go before the planning committee for a decision in July.

Mr Smith said: ‘There’s been a whole succession of applications put in on Cranleigh Road, the earliest was in the 60s, then again in the 70s, 80s, 90s and one in 2006.

‘Now here we are another 10 years later and we have the latest application.’

He said that since Persimmon Homes had put in the application, the council had received more than 450 objections and three petitions against it.

Jean Withinshaw, chairwoman of Portchester Society, made her views on the application known to Cllr Woodward. She said: ‘I am totally against it.’

Conversely, Mr Smith said that the council had received around 1,100 letters in support of a planning application to build a Lidl on the site of the former Homewood Interiors store on Southampton Road.

He said that this application had also attracted 13 objections and is expected to go to the planning committee in July, after the results of a council survey into shoppers’ habits in Portchester Precinct have been analysed.

There are some concerns that allowing Lidl to go ahead could see a drop in trade on the precinct, potentially leading to the Co-op closing.

Other questions asked concerned flooding, affordable housing, council tax rates and traffic.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘There were lots of interesting questions. It went extremely well.’

The next Community Action Team meetings will be held at 7pm on:

n Wednesday at Ferneham Hall, Osborn Road, Fareham.

n Tuesday, July 14 at Titchfield Community Centre, Mill Street.