Fareham council to rip up plan for where 3,300 homes can be built – and start again

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Fareham Borough Council is set to tear up its draft local plan that had earmarked sites for more than 3,300 homes across the borough – because it does not know how many houses it will be ordered to take on its land.

The decision to start over on the Fareham Draft Local Plan 2036 comes in the wake of the government’s changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) announced in July 2018 which increased the number of homes required in Fareham by 30 per cent. 

Fareham council is going back to the drawing board with its plans for where houses can be built

Fareham council is going back to the drawing board with its plans for where houses can be built

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Executive leader of the council, Councillor Sean Woodward has been working with Fareham MP Suella Braverman and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage to try to secure assurances from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Housing Minister, that would have allowed the council to continue with its existing draft Local Plan.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to secure the necessary protection that would have allowed us to continue with our existing draft Local Plan.

‘Without that protection we will have to effectively rip it up and start again to include the government’s extra housing numbers – once there is final agreement about what they actually are!’

Cllr Keith Evans and Cllr Sean Woodward with the Fareham Draft Local Plan 2036

Cllr Keith Evans and Cllr Sean Woodward with the Fareham Draft Local Plan 2036

It comes after strong backlash from residents with protests and petitions against developments, particularly in Portchester and Warsash. 

Campaginers from the Save Warsash and the Western Wards gave the council a petition back in January which was signed by 3,290 signatures objecting to the new draft local plan.

At the time, representative Richard Thomas said: ‘The roads are jammed, schools are full and local healthcare services strained beyond the limit.

‘People moving into the new schemes are sold short on all this, then they arrive and find out how difficult it’s becoming.

‘It would be different if there was provision for the elderly, or younger members of the community looking for first homes, but these schemes don’t serve those needs.’

Last year the council ran a series of meetings to answer residents’ questions about the proposals as well as conducting a public consultation.

The Fareham Labour Party objected to the Fareham Draft Local Plan 2036 branding the proposal as ‘detrimental to living standards in the borough and suggested putting all new homes in Welborne.