The fight against housing plan goes to planning appeal

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AN APPEAL has been launched into a decision to refuse permission for 37 houses on a green field.

Numerous residents objected to the original application for a piece of land next to the Navigator pub, in Lower Swanwick, when it was submitted in February.

Fareham Borough Council officers took into consideration 123 letters of objection and threw out application before it reached the planning committee.

One of the many to object was Sarisbury Residents’ Association.

Chairman Stephen Allen said: ‘This field is one of the few remaining open spaces in the Lower Swanwick area, which would be greatly missed.

‘The impact of 37 houses and flats on this corner piece of land would cause great congestion and mean extra traffic emerging on to a very busy Swanwick Lane and therefore further traffic coming into the already saturated A27.

‘The area is already becoming overcrowded.’

The plan was rejected because it contravened the council’s policy which bans building on designated countryside spots.

It will now to go to a planning appeal and a decision will be made by an inspector, after they hear the evidence from both sides, in December.

Ward councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘We will throw everything we have at this application to protect the land and stand up for the residents of the local area.’

He said he would hold a Community Action Team meeting in early November to gather residents together and work on how best to object.

He added: ‘It is a very important piece of open space, in a sensitive area. Fareham has allocated a sufficient amount of housing therefore we do not need new sites.

‘If the inspector allows this development, it would be saying something about other applications in the borough.’

Cllr Woodward said he feared this could set a precedent for other developments.

Sarisbury ward councillor David Swanbrow said residents had shown strong opposition to the plan, and that he was prepared to fight the application on their behalf.

He said more than 100 residents packed out the Sarisbury Green Parish Rooms back in February, when the plan went into the council.

Cllr Swanbrow said: ‘There is very strong opposition to it. I’ve never known such strong opposition to any application.’