Appeal for 350 houses to be built in Portchester is dismissed by planning inspectorate

PLANS for 350 new homes to be built in Portchester have been dismissed after a national appeal.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 4:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 12:42 pm
Plans for new homes near Downend Road, Portchester. Picture: Supplied

After Fareham Borough Council rejected a proposal from Miller Homes to build new houses on land to the east of Downend Road in Portchester, the company appealed the decision to the planning inspectorate.

But on Tuesday, November 5, the planning inspectorate sided with Fareham Borough Council, dismissing the application for good.

While residents have celebrated the news – which has come as a surprise to many – councillors have warned that the fight may not be over yet.

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Brenda Clapperton, secretary of the Fareham Society, said: ‘We’ve been waiting a long time for this news.

‘I’m surprised that it was dismissed in the end, but I think about the road and the affect of the extra traffic and believe that was one of the main concerns; it’s overloaded with vehicles as it is.

‘The infrastructure around the area would have struggled to cope and was just going to cause more problems than it solved.’

The Downend Road site could still be earmarked for development through Fareham Borough Council’s local plan.

Conservative councillor Nick Walker says the council’s quota for new homes must be met, but ‘necessary’ requirements for this particular development were not included.

He said: ‘I wouldn’t call it a victory because this does affect our land supply – but a lot of residents had been in touch with concerns about the development.

‘I spoke at the appeal and said to the developers that they need a footway for pedestrians, because the bottom line is that it’s dangerous without one. This is certainly an unexpected result though.

‘I think it’s been opened up for the developer to apply again with amendments to their planning application; the door seems to have been left open.’

In his report, government inspector Grahame Gould wrote: ‘I consider that the adverse impacts of granting planning permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.’

However, he added the he believed the site would be both sustainable and of socio-economic benefit to the area.