Trouble at the mill as plans are criticised

CONTROVERSIAL The restaurant being built at the Cams estate
CONTROVERSIAL The restaurant being built at the Cams estate
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A REPLICA water mill that is being built to open as a pub has stirred up new controversy as plans have been submitted for signs and advertising around it.

An application has been put in to Fareham Borough Council for a trio of temporary advertising banners on building hoardings measuring seven metres by one-and-a-half metres at the Cams estate in Portchester.

And a separate application was submitted at the same time for eight signs on the building itself and 11 floodlights under its eaves.

Plans for the building were originally passed by the council’s planning committee, against the recommendation of their planning officers in December 2009.

It took a further three years for the 27 outstanding planning conditions to be agreed, with several locals campaigning throughout to stop the scheme.

Greg Lismore, of Swan Quay in Fareham, has been campaigning against the building, and said: ‘The councillors on the Fareham planning committee had been led to believe, and frequently told the public, they were always approving a recreation of a mill and the creation of a new fine-dining establishment in the conservation area.

‘What is now clear is that we will just be getting another large pub, with food, in Fareham.

‘Who has been fooling whom?

‘A new pub with food – did this really justify over-ruling the various environmental and conservation constraints legally in place and over-ruling their own planning officers’ recommendations?’

Council conservation officer Mike Franklin said in his report on the banners: ‘Whilst temporary, which will make their impact short-lived, the signs will still have an impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of the historic buildings.

‘I would prefer to see a reduction in number and the signage located in the vicinity of the new building rather than adjacent to the gate lodges.’

Civic group the Fareham Society also wrote to object.

It is calling for a reduction in the number and size of the signs, as the building is in the Cams conservation area.

Brenda Clapperton, of the society, added: ‘The proposed pub sign at roof level of the western elevation is too large and the firm’s logo near the apex of the roof is inappropriate.‘

The estate’s owners Strand Harbour Securities have been behind the development and Fuller Smith and Turner will operate the pub.

The applications are expected to go before September’s meeting of the planning committee.