Plan for ‘garden grabbing’ in Fareham is sent back to drawing board

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RESIDENTS have claimed victory over a ‘garden grabber’ as a developer’s building application was thrown out by the planning committee at Fareham Borough Council.

David Newell Consultancy Ltd had applied to build a three-bedroom bungalow in the garden of a property in Locks Heath Park Road, Fareham.

At the council’s latest planning meeting, councillors turned the application down stating it was over development.

Local resident Alison Behdoost opposed the application, telling the committee that the proposal was purely ‘garden grabbing’ and did nothing to address housing shortages. She also said she was concerned the proposed development would have an impact on road safety and said recent road calming on Hunts Pond Road had increased traffic flow and made turning on to it dangerous.

In her deputation, Mrs Behdoost said: ‘Locks Heath Park Road has already had a fatality and only those using the road daily really know the reality of living here.’

She told the councillors: ‘Blood will be on all your hands when the next fatality happens.’

Councillor Sarah Pankhurst also spoke on behalf of the residents. She said: ‘I have issues with garden grabbing, I think it is a quick money-grabbing scheme.’

Local residents were so concerned about the proposed development they organised a petition against garden grabbing, which collected 189 names in three hours at Locks Heath Shopping Centre.

Mrs Behdoost said: ‘Public opinion on planning decisions is at an all time low, feedback showed the public believe the developer always wins, public opinion is ignored and that planners only stop the small person doing modest works.’

The council received 15 letters of objection against the proposed development.

On the panning committee Cllr Keith Evans said: ‘Garden grabbing is something that this council has been vehemently opposed too but we are always shot down by the inspectorate. I am getting a little fed up with this.’

Chair of the planning committee Cllr Roger Price added: ‘I oppose back land development but on larger terms I know you can’t do a lot about it.

‘But this is just too big – it is over development.’

When approached by The News about the future plans for development at the site, David Newell Consultancy refused to comment.