Planning hearing to replace formal inquiry over 85-home Warsash development

Protest organiser Rachel Follett (centre front) with fellow local residents. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Protest organiser Rachel Follett (centre front) with fellow local residents. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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A PLANNING decision for a 85 home development could be fast tracked after an informal hearing replaced a planning inquiry.

After originally being refused, the residential development proposed for land at Brook Lane was appealed by Taylor Wimpey and scheduled for a planning inquiry on January 16.

However the planning inspectorate cancelled the inquiry before Christmas.

Executive leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘The planning inspector decided that a hearing was more appropriate than a public inquiry so cancelled the public inquiry.

‘A hearing date will be set as required.’

A planning hearing is considered a less formal process than a planning inquiry and takes between half to a whole day compared with a planning inquiry which can take weeks.

Councillor Shaun Cunningham said: ‘Informal hearings are usually run as a discussion led by the inspector, in which members of the public can ask questions and put forward their points of view.

‘When this happens, residents have a good opportunity to expand on their case and to demonstrate the depth of local feeling.’

The site in Warsash is protected by residents in the area and last month many staged a protest against house building in the area.

Local Chris Nixon said: ‘I am extremely worried, not just about the Warsash sites but about all of the other sites in Fareham and others along the south coast.

‘One of the requirements of planning is that sites should be ‘sustainable’ and I would suggest that these plans are completely unsustainable.’

Resident Vic Styles said: ‘I think Taylor Wimpey are hoping to win the appeal before the Fareham Local Plan is finalized because of their financial commitment to this site and I think they are hoping to get permission as soon as possible.’