Petitions to protect greenbelt between Fareham and Gosport attracts 3,000 signatures

MORE than 3,000 people have signed two petitions handed to Fareham council, calling for the authority to protect the greenbelt between the borough and Gosport.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 8:59 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 6:46 pm
Tony Goodridge from the Save Our Strategic Gaps Facebook group and Zoe Aspinall from the Green Party arrive at Fareham Borough Council to hand in the petition. Picture: Tony Goodridge.

Tony Goodridge from the Facebook group Save Our Strategic Gaps and Zoe Aspinall, the Green Party candidate for Gosport in 2019, handed the two petitions to Fareham Borough Council on Monday.

The petition calls on the authority to protect the strategic gap of green field sites that separate the urban areas of Fareham and Gosport, as both councils have seen repeated attempts by developers to build in the area.

This month Persimmon Homes submitted an application for 209 houses south of Oakcroft Lane, Stubbington, after its plans for 261 homes was rejected by the council last August.

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Meanwhile Hallam Land resubmitted plans for 1,200 houses, an 80-bed care home, a 420-place primary school, a community centre and a health centre near Longfield Avenue.

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Some residents remain unaware that huge developments are being proposed, and there needs to be more reassurance the council is listening to residents’ concerns, according to petition organiser Tony.

He said: ‘I have a friend who lives on Longfield Avenue – he knew nothing about the development.

‘It has surprised me the number of people who have seen the petition.

‘We have already opened up a website and plan a leaflet drop, because we don’t feel we are capturing everyone that cares about this issue.

‘I have no doubt that it will be a long fight ahead of us.’

He added: ‘We definitely need more reassurance – we don’t feel that the people of Fareham are being listened to.’

The countryside preservation charity CPRE has attracted more than 14,000 signatures with its petition calling for Fareham Borough Council to ensure a green belt remains in the borough’s next local plan.

The leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘I will be making an announcement about the Local Plan at [tonight’s] full meeting of the Council.

This can be viewed on the council’s website at 6pm.

‘However, I can confirm that there will be a significant countryside strategic gap maintained between Fareham and Stubbington plus the Meon Gap.’

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