THE final parts of a controversial application have been agreed – nearly three years after the scheme was first given the green light.
Plans to build a replica tidal mill which would function as a restaurant at Cams estate in Fareham were given approval at a meeting of the borough’s planning committee back in December 2009.
But in approving the scheme, councillors went against the recommendations of their own officers and as a result it ended up with 28 conditions that needed to be satisfied before work could proceed.
Greg Lismore, a member of the public who has spoken against the scheme numerous times at planning meetings, said in a deputation: ‘This application overall to date appears to have been characterised by hypocrisy, dishonesty, stupidity, partisanship, evasion, ignorance, denial, bad advice, and today we can add bad memory to that embarrassing list.’
He went on to criticise the council for being selective in the evidence it chose to support its case while ignoring the advice of the Environment Agency.
He added: ‘It has been embarrassing to watch councillors scrabbling round in their papers for small pickings of text to justify their mistaken decisions.’
Stuart Waring of developers Strand Securities said in a brief deputation: ‘The less said about Mr Lismore’s comments the better.’
Councillor David Swanbrow said: ‘I think it’s quite objectionable to sit here and be spoken to and for our officers, who are professionals to be spoken about like that.’
Councillor Nick Walker said: ‘That’s the last condition, I don’t believe there are any more outstanding.’
In their original report, Fareham’s planning officers said the plans went against the local plan and would be harmful to the character of the Cams Hall area.
Local groups including the Portchester Civic Society and the Fareham Society also opposed the plans, with the latter making a failed bid to have them called in for scrutiny by the government in 2010.
Concerns have also been raised that a man-made lagoon that will be created for the restaurant to overlook will become a ‘stagnant lagoon’.
The vote to approve the remaining conditions, relating to building materials and the construction timetable, was carried by six votes to three.