PLANS for a ‘fine-dining’ restaurant styled as a replica water mill will no longer feature a mill wheel.
The controversial plans for the Cams Mill scheme on the Cams Estate were initially approved by Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee in December 2009 against officers’ recommendations.
But the proposals have had to come back before the committee on numerous occasions to approve more than 20 conditions before work on it can begin.
At the latest meeting, to look at nine of the 10 outstanding conditions, it emerged that developers Strand have changed the original design concept for the interior – doing away with a large replica wheel.
The change was only realised when one of the conditions to make alterations that affect the interior was being looked at.
Some members felt that Strand’s original concept of a fine-dining restaurant, which it had presented to the committee back in 2009 was being moved away from.
But the council has been left powerless to demand its reinstatement as it was not specifically mentioned in the original planning permission.
Cllr Roger Price said: ‘The whole point about the mill wheel being taken out from inside, yes, there may not have been a condition, but those on the committee at the time were sold on this plan by presenting this document to you, and I think the company has completely reneged on what it sold to you as a restaurant.’
Chairman Cllr Nick Walker said: ‘We do seem to be getting away from the original concept to quite a worrying degree.
‘I do feel like it’s been watered down quite a bit.’
Chief planning officer Lee Smith said: ‘The wheel may very well have been part of their proposals at the time, but we didn’t pass permission on it so we cannot comment on it now.’
Mr Smith will write to Strand on the council’s behalf asking for the original interior design to be implemented.