Council leader says Welborne approval will help protect Fareham green spaces

Cllr Sean Woodward
Cllr Sean Woodward
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GREEN spaces in Fareham will be protected after a government inspector approved a development plan.

That’s the claim from borough council leader Sean Woodward after the authority’s Development Sites and Policies Plan – which is separate to the plan for Welborne – was found to be sound by inspector David Hogger.
It means 21 greenfield sites, including the land north of Cranleigh Road in Portchester and Newlands, south of Longfield Avenue, will be more difficult to build on.
Cllr Woodward said the decision was an important one for the future of green sites in the town.
‘With the plan being found sound, it is a big resistance to housing being built on those sites,’ he said.
‘When land is adopted into a Local Plan, it makes it more difficult for planning applications to be accepted.
‘If an application went before the planning committee at the council, the fact it is in the Local Plan would be a reason to refuse it.
‘Then, if it was appealed, it would be expected for the inspector to also refuse it because it is in the plan.’
Cllr Woodward added that it was disappointing that the land behind The Navigator, in Lower Swanwick, would have 37 houses built on it.
He said: ‘The application for The Navigator was given permission by an independent inspector 48 hours before Mr Hogger published his preliminary report for the Development Sites and Policies Plan.
‘If it had happened the other way around, then the houses could have been refused.
‘It is unfortunate that we could not stop that development.’
In the report for The Navigator by the inspector, it says one of the reasons he agreed to them was due to Fareham council not having a Local Plan which would meet their housing targets.
‘Thanks to the plan, we can show we have other dedicated brownfield sites for houses,’ added Cllr Woodward.
‘This will show how we plan to meet our housing targets along with Welborne.’
Mr Hogger held a series of inquiries for the Development Sites and Policies Plan last November where he heard from people for and against the plans.