Fears raised over future of Stubbington Bypass as more than 600 homes proposed in strategic gap
PLANS for a new road which has been years in the making and expected to ease traffic congestion out of Gosport could be in jeopardy, if developers get their way.
That is the concern raised by politicians in Gosport over the land next Newgate Lane East, where a number of planning applications mean that almost 700 homes could be built next to the road.
The news comes following an application for 125 homes by Bargate Homes – on top of plans already submitted for 75 homes in the same area, and plans from Fareham Borough Council for 475 homes between Newgate Lane and Tukes Avenue in Gosport.
Top politicians say that if these plans were given the green light, it would destroy any opportunity for the Stubbington Bypass to be built – as well as putting further pressure on services in Gosport.
But Fareham’s council leader remains adamant that its future is secure, regardless of how many homes are built.
Chairman of Gosport Borough Council’s economic development board, Cllr Stephen Philpott, said: ‘If you add all the applications together, you have 675 homes potentially being built on that site.
‘If you allow homes to be built in this strategic gap between Fareham and Gosport, that would be the end of the Stubbington Bypass.
‘What's more, the developers want to utilise existing facilities – but all of those are in Gosport, not Fareham.
‘All of this with no consultation with Gosport councillors or residents.’
The Stubbington Bypass would run from the bottom of Newgate Lane, heading up to Newlands Farm to Titchfield and the M27.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has been working towards the bypass since she was first elected.
She says that the proposed homes would be ‘disastrous’ for Gosport’s future.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘It’s common knowledge that Fareham has problems with air quality and building new homes.
‘But we have to protect the strategic gap – there are plenty of brownfields sites that Fareham Borough Council can build on without putting the Stubbington Bypass under threat.
‘Our roads are practically at gridlock, so to add even 100 new homes would be 100 too many.’
But the leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Sean Woodward, says the Stubbington Bypass is safe – no matter how many homes are approved for construction.
He said: ‘It’s certainly not in jeopardy – the funding is all in place and preparatory works are happening.
‘The housing will be a matter for the local planning authority, which is us, not Gosport.
‘It’s not an allocated site in our draft local plan, but we know they need the housing.’
HOUSING NUMBERS ROW
Fareham Borough Council’s housing allocation was doubled by central government in August 2018.
Cllr Woodward claims that this is compounded by Fareham taking on additional housing allocation from Portsmouth and Gosport Borough Councils.
A spokesman from Gosport Borough Council has insisted this is not the case – but that long-term housing requirements will be addressed via the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire.
He said: ‘Gosport has a five-year housing supply whereas Fareham does not.
‘Any housing provided in Fareham Borough will therefore go towards meeting their own total housing requirement and will not be taken off GBC’s total.
‘The current speculative applications in Fareham are not meeting Gosport Borough Council’s local plan numerical housing requirements.’
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, says that an exchange of housing allocation will be looked at in the future – but these discussions have not yet taken place.
He said: ‘The government has also doubled the amount of housing expected in Portsmouth, but building more than 800 homes a year is impossible.
‘It is the government that has implemented a system where if you physically cannot meet that allocation, you have to get other councils to take the pressure off.
‘We’ve not had that formal discussion with Fareham yet, but thanks to the Conservative government there will be conversations like this taking place across the country.’