Fareham town centre 'eyesore' site used by fly-tippers could become 18-home development
PLANS for 18 homes could see a disused brownfield site transformed in Fareham town centre.
Imperial Homes Commercial Ltd have applied to build the homes, with 40 per cent marked as affordable housing, on the land behind the Red Lion Hotel near West Street.
The proposed properties will be split between two sites around the pub's car park and the nearby Tesco supermarket.
The two and three bedrooms homes will have private allocated parking, and will be reached through an existing road onto Bath Lane.
These homes will transform the disused yards, which currently attract squatters, fly-tippers, and drug-users, according to residents.
In a public comment to the plans, estate agent Mark Gilbert of Pearsons in West Street said: ‘The apparent years of neglect have naturally made the land a complete eyesore.
‘Having walked past the site on numerous occasions, I have noticed fly-tipping, evidence of squatters and anti-social behaviour.’
Town centre resident Nicola Lewis agreed: ‘It's clear that the development regenerates a completely under utilised area of land.
‘The site is a eyesore, and has been for many years. Its a welcome proposal to see a project that is going to inject some new houses into the local area.
‘This application clearly reuses a redundant brownfield site, and as a local resident I can see the immediate benefits of supporting housing schemes like this.’
A residential development of the site would be beneficial – as long as ‘greater thought’ was given to ensure its design is harmonious with the rest of the Fareham High Street Conservation area, according to Brenda Clapperton, the secretary of preservation group The Fareham Society.
She said: ‘Greater thought needs to be given to the design of the houses and the ground surface material – it needs to be in-keeping with the “charming” Victorian housing found in the town centre.’
The sites had originally been part of the Tesco superstore development opened in 2011, before the land was sold to Hanover Housing, which gained consent for 60 homes on the land – but never pursued the option.
Now Imperial Homes hopes to provide much-needed affordable housing in the town centre, according to director Ben Olds.
He said: ‘Before we bought the site, it was covered in brambles, and there were reports of people using drugs – it was a complete wreck.
‘There are so few, limited examples of new housing in the town centre.
‘All the new houses will have proper gardens.’
The application will go before the council’s planning committee on March 15.