Developers’ plan for 350 homes in Portchester rejected
PLANS for 350 homes branded 'an accident waiting to happen' have been rejected by councillors.
The application would have seen Miller Homes build the new homes on farm land east of Down End Road in Portchester.
The planning committee at Fareham Borough Council had deferred the application in January following concerns about pedestrian safety leaving the site at Down End Road.
The committee considered two proposals from the developer, with the options being a two-metre pathway with a priority system for road traffic or a 1.2m pathway with a narrow carriage way.
But councillors and residents remained unconvinced that proposed changes would have kept residents safe.
One resident who spoke at the meeting said the increase of traffic from the site would be 'an accident waiting to happen', adding ‘you cannot put a price on safety'.
Her views were echoed by committee members, with Councillor Roger Price drawing parallels with the circumstances that led to the death of a Stubbington schoolboy in 2001.
Cllr Price said the proposed pathway changes at Down End Road could lead to 'the same scenario' where a wide vehicle could 'kill someone’.
Hampshire County Council had deemed as acceptable both traffic amendments, leading Councillor Nick Walker, head of the planning committee, to say the authority was ‘living in Shangri La landscape’.
He said: 'What's being proposed on paper is lovely, but in reality, it does not work.
'It's the right site in the wrong place.'
A transport assessment, drawn up for the developer by consultants iTransport, reported that there had been no accidents on that stretch of Down End Road in the last 20 years.
Councillor Ian Bastable believed the assessment’s projections of pedestrian traffic were ‘rather outrageous.’
Speaking after the meeting, he said: 'They are looking at the site before there are 350 homes there.
‘There is no debate these houses are needed.
'But we have to to represent the people who will be living there and their quality of life.'
Speaking after the meeting, Brenda Clapperton, secretary of the Fareham Society, said: 'Our main concern from the beginning has been figures around pedestrian footfall and the long-term safety of pedestrians.
'A large number of people are very concerned about the very dangerous highway situation.’
Cllr Price proposed the motion to refuse the application, with five councillors voting to refuse and three voting against the motion.
A statement from Miller Homes said: ‘We are disappointed with the decision and are considering our options.’