Contentious appeal packs out school hall
HUNDREDS of people turned out at a community meeting to voice their concerns about a planning appeal.
More than 220 residents went to the Community Action Team meeting, run by Fareham Borough Council, at Wicor Primary School in Portchester last night
The council gave a presentation about a planning application for 120 homes on green fields off Cranleigh Road.
The authority rejected the plans in March, however developer Persimmon Homes has since launched an appeal.
It will be taken to an inquiry, expected to be held in the spring.
Principal planner at the council, Kim Hayler, explained the process and gave out advice to residents.
She said: ‘A lot of people have been saying “what can I do now?”. Well, all the comments, hundreds and hundreds of them, have been sent to the planning inspector.
‘If you need to write more or feel there’s something else you want to say, you can still do so but the comments have to be with the planning inspector before October 29.’
The meeting was chaired by Portchester West councillor Susan Bell. She said: ‘It is lovely to see so many people here. It proves what an important topic it is for Portchester.’
The majority was against the application, with people saying they feared it would add increasing pressure to services, such as doctors, school and roads, and that it would destroy an area currently enjoyed by wildlife.
Bronwyn Kirk, from Orchard Road, said: ‘Portchester has given enough to housing, we need some green space. Portchester used to be a village with a village ethos, but now it is a sprawling mess of houses.’
Frank Nowosielski, from Quintrel Avenue, agreed. He said: ‘There needs to be some gaps. The land is agricultural and not determined for development, and access is poor. We feel it will spoil the area.’
Not everybody was against the idea. Roger Bazeley, from Castle Street, said: ‘There’s so much fervour and drama attached to this application.
‘We need more houses, it is a national problem. Don’t we want to build the young people of Portchester somewhere to live?’
For more on the application, search reference 3156344 online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/