Fareham accused of ‘taking the mickey’ over plans for 125 homes on Gosport’s doorstep

PLANS set in motion to build 125 homes on the strategic gap between Fareham and Gosport could be blocked by the secretary of state, if the latter council gets its way.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 10:55 pm
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 12:00 pm
Newgate Lane in Fareham. Picture: David George

Plans have been submitted to Fareham Borough Council by Bargate Homes for 125 houses in the land next to Newgate Lane East.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, Gosport Borough Council members voted not only to formally object to the plans, but to also give delegated powers to council officers to call the application into the secretary of state for housing, James Brokenshire.

This could give Mr Brokenshire the power to make the decision himself, taking it out of Fareham Borough Council's hands.

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It comes after revised government targets forced Fareham Borough Council to build 544 homes a year will have to be built up to 2026, up from 420 a year.

Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, says the construction of these homes next to Newgate Lane East – taking into account plans for a further 75 homes and the proposed HA2 development – must be fought, for the sake of Gosport’s future, as the homeowners would be using Gosport schools, doctors and dentist surgeries.

He said: ‘The homes would push more cars into an area where the air quality is some of the poorest in the country, it will create further problems for schools and we all know the problems with doctors and the like.

‘We're delivering the housing allocation set for us by the government, so for Fareham Borough Council’s leader to suggest in the press that they’re helping us in incredulous beyond belief.

‘For Fareham Borough Council to say this will help Gosport is a complete lie – in fact, it’s the opposite.

‘We’re trying to encourage job density and by building homes around the Stubbington Bypass it would strangle the Enterprise Zone.’

Labour council member, Cllr Keith Farr, added: ‘I think Fareham Borough Council is taking the mickey.

‘Air quality is an issue with all the congestion and journey times – and this housing would have an impact on us.

‘That is why I object to it.’

Meanwhile, Cllr Piers Bateman says that the application for homes in the strategic gap is a violation of Fareham Borough Council’s current local plan.

‘There’s plenty to be objecting about,’ he said.

‘I think we are forewarned with how Fareham will treat us with the IFA2 development – so calling in the application is our major hope.’