Row over plans for homes at edge of the Fareham countryside

Councillor Luke Stubbs

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A ROW has broken out over plans to build new housing on fields at the edge of Fareham.

People living near the site off Fareham Park Road say that this is the kind of development they thought would be stopped by the creation of a new 7,500-home town north of Fareham.

The new town is expected to be built in the next 15 years to accommodate the region’s growing population.

And they are worried that the plans extend into area designated as countryside.

Two applications have been put in by landowners, the Trimmings family, for an overlapping site at the north end of the road. The first is for seven four-bedroom homes, the second, for a larger plot, is 14 two-bedroom bungalows for the elderly.

Kate Hester, of Cort Way, whose home backs on to the site, said: ‘This site is effectively a back garden, albeit a very large one, and this is just the kind of development we were told wouldn’t be happening if we had the new town. It’s infilling and development on green space.

‘This is a site of nature conservation and countryside.

‘The councils write all these strategies and then they contradict each other.’

Barrie Mason, of Fareham Park Road, said: ‘This is yet another application to infill on land designated as special interest and in the Meon Valley countryside area.

‘The whole idea of new development to the north of Fareham was that no more of this type of development would be approved.’

He added: ‘This would also increase traffic in Fareham Park Road which is already heavy due to the presence of three schools and day care centres.’

And Chris Roberts, who lives next to the proposed site, said: ‘Access to and from the end of Fareham Park Road is blind. At this point five private drives converge and a busy public right of way crosses the road.

‘It is already a very busy and dangerous junction, and it’s an accident waiting to happen. I regularly witness close shaves between horse riders, cyclists and drivers that think it will be straightforward down here.’

But planning agent Bob Tutton said that the application would help make the division between town and countryside clearer.

He said: ‘The application for seven houses is within the existing urban area as defined in the Fareham local plan, and is identified in the council’s core strategy for its housing allocation.

‘We have proposed a bigger area of development for 14 aged persons’ bungalows as there is a recognised need for that in Fareham.

‘As it stands there is no distinctive edge to the urban boundary on the ground, so we are proposing to the council that as there’s no recognisable boundary there at the minute between the urban and the countryside, we will create one with a planting belt.

‘But to do that, we have to push the development area out a bit further.

‘The first application is in accordance with the council’s existing policies. The second one is what we believe it should be.’

Comments on the seven homes application need to be made to the council by tomorrow. There is currently no deadline on comments for the 14-bungalow plan.

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