Protestors in Warsash set to step up planning fight against council

AN ongoing planning battle between Warsash residents and Fareham Borough Council could soon intensify.

Sunday, 21st January 2018, 7:54 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st January 2018, 8:02 pm
Members of a group which started on Facebook called Save Warsash are pictured protesting against Fareham Borough Council's plans to build 800 homes in the area. Protest organiser Rachel Follett is centre front

Residents behind the Save Warsash group are looking to lodge a formal complaint against the council over the way it has handled planning applications from developers.

An application for 85 homes on a greenfield site in Warsash, submitted by Taylor Wimpey, was rejected.

But according to the protestors, a similar application submitted by the same developer – which will go before the council on January 24 – may get planning permission.

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Save Warsash says that this development would be a ‘Trojan horse’ for other companies to receive planning permission.

Representative Richard Thomas said: ‘We know we have to bear our share of development, but we expect the process to be fair and transparent to give residents a chance to make their views known.

‘The petition of 3,290 signatures presented to the council objecting to the new Draft Local Plan contains references to the huge scheme, that the 85-house Taylor Wimpey site is a Trojan horse.

‘We have experienced a great deal of local development recently, but the infrastructure has not been developed to support it.

‘The roads are jammed, schools are full and local healthcare services strained beyond the limit.

‘People moving into the new schemes are sold short on all this, then they arrive and find out how difficult it’s becoming.

‘It would be different if there was provision for the elderly, or younger members of the community looking for first homes, but these schemes don’t serve those needs.’

But Lee Smith, head of development management at Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘The council refused the application in January 2017 because the site was in the countryside and it believed it had a sufficient supply of sites for future housing.

‘Subsequently Taylor Wimpey put in a duplicate planning application for the same scheme.

‘In August 2017 the Cranleigh Road appeal was decided.

‘This application was also to build houses in the countryside.

‘The appeal was allowed as an independent inspector did not accept the council had identified enough sites to meet future housing requirements – these need to cover at least five years’ supply.

‘The Warsash petition will be reported as part of the report on the Taylor Wimpey duplicate planning application.’