Fareham sees 15 new sites proposed for development in revised local plan from Fareham Borough Council

A TOTAL of 15 new sites across Fareham could be opened up to developers as Fareham Borough Council once again consults on its borough-wide development plan.

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 6:45 pm

Fareham Borough Council last consulted on its local plan in November, when the council used proposed central government figures to assign potential sites for development.

But just two days before the end of the consultation, the government scrapped the proposed figures – which would have cut Fareham’s housing target from 541 to 403 new builds a year.

Now the council has allocated 15 new sites in its revised local plan to account for being wrong-footed by central government.

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Councils in the area face shifting government housebuilding targets Picture: Shutterstock
Councils in the area face shifting government housebuilding targets Picture: Shutterstock

New sites include land 180 homes in the land east of Crofton Cemetery and west of Peak Lane, 550 west of Downend Road, and 1,250 in the land south of Longfield Avenue.

But extent of the proposed building is a situation that is ‘absolutely’ opposed by the council’s executive leader, Councillor Sean Woodward.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘This isn’t Fareham’s housing requirement – it’s the government’s housing requirement that’s being forced upon us.

Regarding the government’s rejection of proposed housing numbers, he added: ‘The government said, ‘this is what we are minded to do’, and that sort of language is usually used for things that are going to happen.’

Fareham Borough Council leader, Councillor Sean Woodward.

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The Conservative politician pointed to the recent by-election upset in Chesham and Amersham – with the Liberal Democrats securing a large majority in what was assumed to be a safe Tory seat – as the government possibly suffering for its planning decisions.

He added: ‘If the pundit are to believed, one of the factors in it was the government’s planning reforms.

‘Electoral loss has a profound effect on any politician’s thinking.’

Councillor Roger Price, Fareham Lib Dem leader.

Councillor Roger Price, leader of the opposing Liberal Democrats, also pointed to the recent by-election as a sign of dissatisfaction with central government’s planning decisions.

Cllr Price said: ‘The problem with the housing figures is that they are being dictated by central government, and I use the word very strongly – dictated.

‘This has caused the problem of sites being released for development which should never have been released.

‘But we feel that the council should have done a lot more in trying to persuade the government to backtrack on their figures.’

He added: ‘(The government) may get the message after Thursday’s by-election results.’

The revised publication sets out the overall growth level for the borough until 2037 of around 10,594 new dwellings.

Comments to the previous consultation – which gathered 300 responses – will still be sent to the planning inspector as part of the local plan’s progression.

Additional comments to revised local plans can be made by visiting fareham.gov.uk/localplanconsultation or calling 01329 824601.

The consultation runs until Friday, July 30.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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