Residents’ anger at strategic gap development

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SCORES of residents packed a college hall to hear further details about a planned housing development and decide how best to object.

A Community Action Team meeting was held last night at Fareham College about a planning application to build a 1,550-home estate called Newlands on land between Fareham and Gosport.

Residents at the meeting

Residents at the meeting

Fareham Borough Council decided to hold the meeting after it received hundreds of comments about the application, submitted by developer Hallam Land.

Council leader Sean Woodward said the council had written to 6,000 homes and extended the consultation period to six weeks, ending April 22, due to the scale of the proposed estate.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘The council has zoned this land as strategic gap and countryside. Not surprisingly people are very concerned.

‘A number of them are saying “why is the council allowing this?” We cannot stop people putting in applications, but we can put an awful lot of work into making sure we deal with them in the proper fashion.’

The application for outline permission was submitted in February. If the site is allowed, it will see 1,550 homes built on fields off Peak Lane, Stubbington.

The estate would also incorporate a 465-place primary school, a health centre and a pub, as well as a road running up to Peak Lane.

Residents heard presentations from Jenna Turner, principal planner at the council, and Stephen Jenkins, highways officer at Hampshire County Council.

Ms Turner explained the details of the application and Mr Jenkins said the county council was concerned about the lack of highway infrastructure.

Ms Turner said the council was hoping to have dealt with the application by July 22.

Residents asked Ms Turner, Mr Jenkins and Cllr Woodward questions.

They raised issues about flooding, school and hospital places, infilling and traffic.

Mary-Jo Frew, from Ranvilles Lane, said she had collected nearly 2,000 signatures against the estate and raised her concerns about other development such as the Stubbington bypass setting a precedent for development.

Mrs Frew said: ‘It will give power to the developer.’

Another meeting will be held tonight at 7pm at Crofton Community Centre, Stubbington Lane.

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