Plans for 3,300 new homes will go to the public

A PROPOSAL for more than 3,000 new homes in a borough has been approved for public consultation.

Monday, 23rd October 2017, 10:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:11 am
Cllr Keith Evans, left, and Cllr Sean Woodward with the Fareham Draft Local Plan 2036 Picture: Millie Salkeld

The draft local plan for Fareham was called in by opposition councillors after it was approved by the executive.

Liberal Democrat leader Roger Price said: ‘I think there are issues within the plan which is why we referred it for scrutiny.’

Liberal Democrats Cllr Price, Councillor Maryam Brady and Councillor Katrina Trott called in the decision for several reasons including insufficient information of funding sources in regards to infrastructure and the unbalanced allocation of houses across the borough.

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Cllr Price added: ‘We feel a more even spread of development across the borough would have been much fairer.’

The decision to accept the draft local plan, which includes 3,300 houses and new employment floor space at Daedalus was voted through by the scrutiny board with only Councillor Shaun Cunningham, a Lib Dem, opposing the decision.

Many residents attended the meeting – the news of the extra homes to built triggered protests throughout the borough including a march against controversial greenfield sites in Portchester and Warsash.

Portchester resident Christine Wilkinson made a deputation at the meeting regarding the proposals for Portchester and Warsash which would both see more than 700 houses built.

Christine said: ‘ The areas of Portchester and Warsash take almost half of the proposed numbers and it is unfair in its allocation of sites.

Many councillors and residents referred to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) – which documents the reasons why sites were chosen or refused – not being made readily available.

Christine added: ‘The SHLAA document would have been very helpful before but this decision is what we expected and the important part is we now can have our say and put our points and information across.’

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘I’m pleased the scrutiny board has accepted the executive’s decision to send our draft local plan out for consultation.

‘Residents will have the opportunity to go to a Community Action Team (CAT) meeting close to where they live and attend an exhibition about the Draft Local Plan.’

The first CAT meeting is tomorrow from 7pm until 8.30pm at Portchester Community School.