Argument breaks out over first Welborne planning application

AN ARGUMENT has broken out over the first Welborne planning application.

Wednesday, 15th August 2018, 4:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:06 pm
Sawmillls Industrial Park, Wickham Road. Picture: Google Maps

BST Warehouses Ltd entered a planning application to Fareham Borough Council last year for 72 homes at Sawmills Industrial Park on Wickham Road which makes up part of the Welborne site.

However the council failed to come to a final decision in the required time limit and so the firm appealed the decision leading to a two-day planning hearing which started yesterday.

Fareham Borough Council's reasons for refusal of the current application included the design and infrastructure of the plan, contaminated land and gas risk and the protection of dormice. 

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The statement of case read: '˜Â Â The resulting development would result in a poorly planned residential scheme   to the detriment of an area identified as the edge of the Welborne development within the woodland character area.'

Planning Inspector Kenneth Stone is leading the hearing and questioned what the council meant by '˜poorly planned' and wanted a break down of the potential harm caused by the proposal. 

The council's architect consultant, Justine Leach from LDA design, described the design as '˜intense' and '˜civic in character'.

But Jonathan Moore from MH architects, who designed the plans, rebutted the statement and considered the scheme to fit the woodland theme.

Simon Ricketts, from Town Legal LLP who appeared for BST Warehouses Ltd, said: '˜This is the first time in 18 months we have been in the same room as LDA Design and we have struggled with this reason for refusal.'

Inspector Stone and Mr Ricketts also questioned the council on the progress of the planning application by Buckland Development for the overall Welborne site in relation to having an impact on the discussions of the hearing.

The master developer entered their planning application for the site last year and a decision was due to be made on August 31.

However the council confirmed at the hearing no agenda has been set   as the planning meeting on August 22 was cancelled.

A Fareham Borough Council spokesperson said: '˜There will not be a Planning Committee in August as the Council needs to understand the implications of the Government's NPPF, and advise the Planning Committee accordingly, before asking them to consider planning applications.'

The hearing continues today and the inspector is due to make a site visit after the hearing.