Housing target in Fareham could be 'significantly' reduced by more than 1,800 homes

THE number of new homes required in Fareham could be cut by 1,800 as central government revises its house-building targets.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:39 pm
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 3:33 pm

The government is currently reviewing housing need and allocation, with a new proposed formula meaning the council would have a target of 403 new homes a year – a 22 per cent reduction.

This formula could be once again revised by the government, but Fareham Borough Council is basing its local plan on the new figures as they are ‘so significant that it would seem irresponsible to ignore the changes being proposed’, according to leader Sean Woodward.

The reduction in housing means that the council will no longer progress developments in eight areas across the borough.

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Fareham has seen the number of houses it needs to build decreased by 20 per cent by central government. Land south of Romsey Avenue will no longer be progressed by the council - meaning it will no longer be allocated for housing. It is one of eight sites that will not be progressed by the council. Pictured is: Nick Walker, councillor for Portchester West ward and chairman of the planning committee. Picture: Sarah Standing (280920-7349)

These include the strategic growth areas south of Fareham and west of Downend Road, as well land near Romsey Avenue, Peel Common, Rookery Farm, Pinks Hill, and Military Road, as well as land in North Wallington.

In July, more than 3,000 people signed two petitions calling on the council to continue to protect green belt land separating Fareham and Gosport in the face of housing targets.

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Cllr Woodward said: ‘We do not plan to submit the local plan for consideration until after the results of the government’s consultation are both known and enacted.

‘I am delighted that the intense lobbying that I undertook on behalf of the borough with both ministers and civil servants has borne fruit in the government’s latest proposed method for calculating the requirement for new homes resulting in a very significant reduction in Fareham's requirements.

‘Preserving our strategic gaps has always been a very high priority for me and for the council and the proposed new local plan does just that. I hope it will be supported by our residents, many of whom are just as passionate about these issues.’

Government targets had been ‘getting ridiculous’, according to Councillor Nick Walker, who represents the ward incorporating Romsey Avenue and is the chairman of the council’s development committee.

He said: ‘It takes a bit of pressure off.

‘But we’re not quite clear yet what this does for our duty to look after neighbouring authorities’ shortfall.

‘If the targets have dropped that dramatically, hopefully we won’t have to put any residual sites by.’

A full council meeting will decide whether to approve the borough’s plan for public consultation on October 22.

A public consultation on the plan will run across the autumn.

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