Councillors defer plans for Portchester estate due to fears over coastal damage

COUNCILLORS have put off plans to demolish two unsightly warehouse buildings and build 24 houses on land near the coast due to fears over erosion.

Thursday, 13th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 2:47 pm
Designs of homes planned Windmill Grove, Portchester

Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously made the decision over the proposals for land at Windmill Grove in Portchester at a meeting in the Civic Offices.

The proposals by developer Cross Stone Urban Regeneration comprise of seven bungalows and seventeen homes and while councillors agreed the site was an eyesore and in need of development, fears were raised that the site would leave the homes exposed to coastal damage.

Therefore, they agreed to defer the application for further consultation to take place and to request additional funds from the developers that would be used to maintain the site’s coastline and flood defences.

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Councillor Roger Price, who represents Portchester East called for the deferral.

He said: ‘This was the only answer and prevents the public purse being affected.

‘This site is a complete and utter mess and I fully support seeing housing on there.

‘However, I have my concerns about the coastal erosion and I believe the developer should help pay towards the sea defences for the land.’

The developers said in the application that the homes would be raised by between 1.2 and 1.6 metres to offset the potential flood risk but this was not seen as good enough.

Terence Hunt, who lives in Windmill Grove, spoke against the plans, saying: ‘We are suffering from a lot of coastal erosion with the sea lapping up the land at an alarming rate.

‘I fear for the people who would buy these properties as they will be under threat very soon.’

Councillor Shaun Cunningham, who also represents Portchester East said: ‘It is right that the council asked for a contribution.

‘We all agree that something badly needs to be done in terms of development on this site, but we need to make sure there’s an agreement in place between the developers and the council to stop the council spending million on repairing flood defences.’

The proposals included provision for an access road to the north of the site.