Safety concerns pause plans for homes in gardens

Portsmouth council leader condemns Barcelona attack

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A BID to build homes in back gardens has been stalled after concerns were raised over fire engine access to the site.

Residents fighting against the development at the back of 206 to 216 Brockhurst Road, in Gosport, won a temporary reprieve as the borough council ordered a site visit.

It comes after resident Heather Pilcher, of Brockhurst Road, raised concerns over the proposed access to the site through Jason Way.

Councillors at a meeting of the regulatory board now want to see if the fire service can reach the homes.

They had been recommended to approve the plans by council officers.

Mrs Pilcher said the developer, Burton Property Ventures Ltd, had eased the concerns of other residents but hers remained.

She said: ‘Of major concern is the access or lack of it for emergency services.

‘Should more than one fire engine be required at the proposed new site, how will this be possible with such restricted access? We have had an incident in the past that shows how difficult manoeuvring these large vehicles is.

‘I feel that building on what is essentially stolen back gardens is the wrong way to go and will certainly be detrimental to not only local residents but the greater area.’

Aside from emergency vehicle access, Mrs Pilcher told the meeting last week her concerns included congestion in the new access route.

As reported in March, residents objected to the four proposed bungalows.

Access to the new two and three-bedroom bungalows would be through Jason Way.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn proposed the site visit.

He said: ‘Knowing that area it would be difficult should a fire engine need to get down to the four flats at the end, Jason Court.

‘And it could certainly only get out by reversing.’

He was concerned only one fire engine might be able to get to the new site, with potential problems if more than one was needed.

Alistair Harris made a deputation on behalf of the developer.

He said plans had been changed after consultations with residents but faced questions over fire engine access.

Mr Harris said: ‘It was widely agreed that the only safe means of access to the site was through the Jason Way/Eastbrook Close access.

‘It has been agreed there is a safe and adequate means for access.’