Developer looks to build block of 17 flats in town

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CONCERNS have been raised that a new block of flats proposed for Fareham town centre will lead to overcrowding.

The plans for 17 flats and two shops in West Street have gone into Fareham Borough Council and are due to be decided on Wednesday.

Denham Properties wants to build the block next to Holy Trinity Church, on a site that is currently occupied by a single-storey shop, offices and a car park.

The Portsmouth Diocese has written to the council to object as it has concerns over the site’s layout, access and car parking.

Philip Harrison, on behalf of the Portsmouth Diocese, said: ‘There is a Scout building constructed on the church land, immediately adjacent to the proposed development.

‘The Scouts have recently applied for consent to redevelop the hall. We have concerns on their behalf as to how they would access the site both now and in the future.’

Six other letters of objection have been sent to the council.

Katherine Livingstone, of Kings Road, said she was concerned about so many flats being squeezed into a small space.

Mrs Livingstone, 61, said: ‘It’s going to be packed, I know things need to progress but it should not be built here.

‘It will be too built up. It’s a small car park now and they are hoping to cram 17 flats in.’

Residents were also concerned about access to the site, which is down a small track off Kings Road, and how that will be maintained.

Ward councillor Paul Whittle said that while he takes into consideration the concerns, he hopes that a solution can be found to allow the development.

Cllr Whittle said: ‘I want to support the church in doing whatever it needs to do in the community, but more generally, I encourage appropriate development of accommodation in the town centre.

‘The key word here is appropriate so that will be for the planning committee to decide whether it fits in with the guidelines.

‘Development in the town centre is a good thing and we want to see more. It fits with environmental objectives as people can walk to work and walk to transport hubs.’

Conservation officer at the council Mike Franklin said the development would provide an opportunity to improve both the setting of Holy Trinity Church and the war memorial.