COUNCILLORS have turned their back on an application from their own council officers to site an ice-cream van on a stretch of seafront.
Fareham Borough Council’s estates department wanted to put a van on open space at Cliff Road, in Hill Head, one of several ways of making money agreed by its executive last May.
But yesterday the application was sent back to the drawing board by councillors on the planning committee after residents objected.
Bill Hutchinson, from the Hill Head Residents’ Association, spoke against the plans at the meeting.
He said residents did not want another food outlet along the coast or anything else on the open space near the seafront.
Mr Hutchinson said: ‘One of the reasons Fareham’s beaches are so popular is that they are largely unspoilt.’
He raised concerns over noise, pollution and of the unhealthy ingredients in ice-cream.
Hill Head ward councillor Tim Knight urged councillors to consider moving the van to the north end of the car park.
Six letters of objection were sent into the council, including one from the Fareham Beach Hut Association, Hill Head Sailing Club and county councillor Christopher Wood.
Councillors on the planning committee took these into consideration and discussed the plan, which would have seen hardstanding put in to allow the van to park.
The application was for a one-year trial dependent on ‘the success’ which councillors said was unmeasurable.
A report from council officers recommended the plan be approved, despite the site being designated as coast and countryside in the council’s local plan.
On the planning committee Cllr Katrina Trott said: ‘What we have before us is an area of well-used grassland of 40 square metres and to change its use.
‘It is an appalling suggestion.’
Cllr Peter Davies agreed: ‘The issue is quite clear, there is no demand for this.
‘The residents’ association has been clear so let’s be clear and speak simply – I am against it.’
Cllr Michael Ford questioned how long it would take before the site made a profit with the council paying to put hardstanding in.
The application was sent back to officers to look at a better location and to talk to ward councillors.