200 new homes to built near Crofton Cemetery in Stubbington after Persimmon Homes wins appeal against Fareham Borough Council

A DEVELOPMENT of 206 homes has been given the green light by a government inspector - despite Fareham Borough Council refusing the application.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 2:45 pm

Persimmon Homes appealed against the council’s decision in February last year to have homes built next to Crofton Cemetery.

The development will see 206 dwellings built with associated works and a public open space.

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Crofton Cemetery in Stubbington Picture: Paul Jacobs (111184-12)

Councillor Jim Forrest believes the development will destroy a valued stretch of countryside.

‘The council is complaining about the inspector's decisions but in fact, they pretty well gave them an open goal because the local plan which has now gone to the secretary of state for approval included provision for up to 180 houses on that site,’ he said.

‘It was hardly likely that an inspector was going to refuse the appeal given that the council has caved in and said that that was a suitable site for housing - it should’ve been retained as part of the strategic gap between Stubbington and Fareham.

‘The other allocation in the local plan for over 1,000 homes at the other end at Peak Lane - that will reduce the gap between the two settlements to a couple of hundred yards at most so I'm really disappointed at the decision.

‘The ruling group in the council brought this on us by first of all caving into the demands of the government in terms of housing supply.

‘I’m against the loss of the strategic gap and the urbanisation of a large stretch of countryside, they’re basically turning farmland into a suburb.

Nick Walker, chairman of the planning committee, supported the original application in February.

‘It was to be all affordable housing and I thought that was useful to getting our numbers up’ he said.

‘To me, it’s not unexpected because we don’t have a five-year housing supply.

‘I thought it was an acceptable scheme. There was a lot of land being given in mitigation for birds and so on and so forth.

‘At the end of the day we got a scheme which is possibly a bit better than the original one but of course, now it’s only 40 per cent affordable housing.’

‘We’ve got to get housing and it’s always going to be an assault on the large open spaces and strategic gaps.’

A lot of local residents objected to the original application including MP for Gosport Caroline Dinenage who said: 'I am bitterly disappointed with the independent Planning Inspectorate’s decision on Persimmon Homes application, for a number of reasons.

'Please rest assured that I have and will continue to represent the concerns of both constituents and the council and will continue to fight to protect our area from unwanted developments.'

A local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, objected to the application due to disturbances it would have to visitors of Crofton Cemetary.

She said: 'My late husband's remains are there and when I bought this plot FBC said they would not build there and if anything they would extend the cemetery and a lot of other people were told the same.'