Fears grow that housebuilders may pounce on land while Fareham council draws up planning rules

A map from the planning application
A map from the planning application
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FEARS are growing that housebuilders will be able to force through new estates while a council prepares its plan for where new housing should go.

It comes after Fareham Borough Council lost a planning appeal at Cranleigh Road in Portchester this year and now councillors are worried the floodgates could open and more sites could be granted permission.

Executive member for planning and development, Councillor Keith Evans said: ‘The issue is because we don’t have a five-year housing land supply government guidelines say we have to look at all applications.

‘For future applications we cannot fall back on the existing plan, and because we don’t have a five-year housing land supply we would not have this as a planning reason to say no.’

The proposal for 120 homes at the Cranleigh Road site was refused by the council last year but a planning inspector allowed it due to the council not having a five-year land supply.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Katrina Trott said: ‘I can see that any objections we would make to future applications are going to hold like water. If the government is determined to force these housing numbers on us I am feeling very worried.’

The council is currently conducting a public consultation for the draft local plan and councillors are worried residents will feel aggrieved their comments may not prevent sites being accepted or rejected.

Cllr Evans said: ‘Anger may occur in some cases as this is clearly annoying for residents.

‘It has been a concern of mine all along which is why I pushed the draft local plan process.

‘But at resident meetings in my ward there is an understanding that this is a difficult borough situation and the housing pressures we are facing.

Warsash resident John Read said: ‘We are concerned about applications being submitted between now and the draft plan being finalised.

‘It takes a lot of time and effort to try and rebuff the seemingly endless stream of planning applications. Having said that I guess we are between a rock and a hard place because we do not want our greenbelt built on whether it’s in the draft plan or not.’