Residents and councillors combine to appeal to inspector over planned Portchester estate

Land next to ''Wicor Primary School that could have been built on
Land next to ''Wicor Primary School that could have been built on
  • Councillors, schools and residents come together to plead with inspector over 120 homes
  • Plea came during third day of planning inquiry over plans for fields off Cranleigh Road, Portchester
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CAMPAIGNERS have banded together to call for a planning inspector to uphold a decision to reject plans for 120 homes.

Residents and councillors yesterday made a passionate case to inspector George Baird during the third day of a planning inquiry over Persimmon Homes’ proposals at agricultural land off Cranleigh Road in Portchester.

This is the last vestige of heaven in Portchester. Let’s worship it not destroy it.

Louise Moreton, teacher at Wicor Primary School

The possible impact on wildlife, schools, traffic and health services all came to the fore as people were given the opportunity to have their say.

Geoff Fazackarley, ward councillor for Portchester East on Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘This application should be laughed at and thrown in the bin.

‘Persimmon Homes do not care and they have not made the effort to satisfy our concerns.

‘If it is given consent, it will be the most abhorrent display of poor judgement.’

Louise Moreton, a teacher at Wicor Primary School, which would face the new development, spoke on behalf of headteacher Mark Wildman to oppose the plans.

She said the fields had become a ‘valuable ecological habitat’ that was used as part of the children’s studies.

Ms Moreton told the inspector: ‘This is the last vestige of heaven in Portchester.

‘Let’s worship it, not destroy it.

‘This site could become the jewel in Portchester’s crown.’

A large badger sett, foxes, deer and butterflies are just a handful of the wildlife that have made the fields their home.

Sue Bell, ward councillor for Portchester West, added: ‘This is grade one agricultural land is part of the important gap between Fareham and Portchester. Around 99 per cent of the people I’ve spoken to about it are against it.’

Also speaking at the inquiry was Shaun Cunningham, councillor for Portchester East who has campaigned for residents against the proposed development.

He said: ‘These proposed homes will have a huge impact on the lives and a number of important public services. No-one should underestimate the effect of it. It will also be disastrous for the wildlife.’

The scheme was rejected by the local authority last March.

This week’s appeal is the fourth time in the last 31 years developers have appealed council decisions for plans on the fields.