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Do you remember the concerns about water?

17-10-2017

I remember raising the subject of security of water supply with Portsmaouth Water back in May of this year. Their reply to my concerns were fairly sanguine  Link to their reply.

Having recently received my sewage bill from Southern Water I actually looked at the little leaflet that they send with every one.

Quote from the leaflet:

"As the South East is designated a water stressed area, saving water also helps to protect our water sources now and in the future"
...
From October 2016 ti April 2017, we had less rainfall than normal, which means many of the water sources we draw from are at lower than average level. So it's even more important that we all use water as wisely as possible"


I do realise that Portsmouth Water and Southern Water are separate companies but how can PW be so relaxed about the addition of 120,000 or so houses in the area and yet the larger supplier is already exhorting us to save the precious commodity.

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The day democracy died in Fareham

06-10-2017

A letter from Shaun Cunningham, Liberal Democrat councillor for Portchester, to The News, published one day last week.


Democracy has died, on Friday our council - Fareham Borough Council - took the step to pre-determine a whole raft of greenfield sites.

Our council has effectively said that, regardless of public opinion and the basic right of residents to make their views known on a planning application, it will allow development no matter what the public has to say.

Our council’s political leadership complained bitterly about the Cranleigh Road inspector’s report and how undemocratic it was.

I dislike that report immensely because it made difficult reading. However, no matter how strongly I feel about the inspector’s conclusions, the report was not subjective like others would like one to believe. It was informed and educated.

The council’s legal team agreed, which is why no legal challenge was made. The inspector pointed out a fundamental error in our local plan, which was his role.

On Friday the answer to that report from the council leaves me speechless. It is the removal of a basic right for residents to have a say on whether a planning application should be approved.

Today I would suggest our local democracy is in tatters. We are now being dictated to and our voices and our rights have been taken away from us.

If one creates a mess, by all means clean it up. But in doing so, to take away such fundamental rights to be allowed to register an opinion without it becoming meaningless is an abuse of political power which should not be tolerated.

I find it staggering that such an abuse can be considered, let alone brought forward.

Sites such as Seafield Road, Romsey Avenue, Winnham Farm and others across Fareham have been given the green light without the public having a say.

Such actions to pre-determine sites and remove our democratic rights to oppose or support a particular development allocation must be seen to be undemocratic and must be challenged.

If a member of the planning committee sat down with a pre-determined opinion before listening to all the facts when considering a planning application, that member would he heavily criticised and would face a possible code of conduct charge. And yet our council is pre-determining a whole raft of greenfield sites.

To me our council has moved to a position where it is alone acting as judge and jury on granting planning on a large number of greenfield sites. That cannot be right.

Shaun Cunningham


A well written letter, the sentiments of which I am sure we all agree.


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29-07-2017

keyboard warriors Picture posted on the Inform Fareham Facebook page


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 Press Release



22 September 2017

Cranleigh Road Appeal Outcome to Stand


Fareham Borough Council has been advised not to legally challenge the Cranleigh Road Appeal decision. That is the message that was received from the Council's legal advisers who were asked to examine the outcome of the Cranleigh Road Appeal.

Executive Leader of the Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "We were extremely disappointed with the outcome of the Appeal which failed to acknowledge the Council's clear commitment to housing delivery over the long term in its current planning strategy. Consequently I asked for the decision to be examined by the Council's legal advisers to see whether we could legally challenge the decision in the courts.

"The basis of the Planning Inspector's decision boiled down to his view that there are insufficient new homes coming forward in the next five years to meet the needs of the local area. The legal advice therefore is that we would not be successful in challenging the Planning Inspector's decision despite ministerial guidance to the Planning Inspectorate that existing local plan figures should prevail while an updated local plan is being agreed. Officers have been working on that new local plan over the last two years which will extend to 2036.

"We will be consulting on the new Local plan in a few weeks' time. I would encourage all residents in Fareham to take part in this consultation. The Cranleigh Road Appeal decision highlights the importance of having a robust Local Plan and we will be doing our very best to make sure ours remains sound."

Community Action Team (CAT) meetings to discuss the Local Plan have been arranged. They will run from 7:00pm until 8:30pm and take place on:

For more information about the Draft Local Plan please contact the Council's Planning Team on 01329 824601.

ENDS

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To Suella with hope

16-09-2017

The following post is on behalf of Wicor Primary School, Portchester (adjoining Cranleigh Road)

Due to our disappointment regarding the Cranleigh decision and the diabolical shambles by FBC which is enabling developers to put in applications throughout Portchester and Fareham the Headteacher of Wicor Primary School is writing to Suella Fernandes. In addition, there is a whisper that she might intervene. As always, the more emails/snail mails she gets regarding the problem the more likely it is that she will intervene.

Attached, therefore, is a letter written by the Headteacher of Wicor Primary School which he is sending to Suella on headed paper. However, he has said that he is happy for it to be used by anyone else opposing the Portchester developments. Just download, amend/delete anything that is not appropriate to you (or send as it is) and sign. Her email address is: suella@suella.fernandes.co.uk

Please flood her with letters opposing the developments which are threatening to overwhelm Portchester and denude the countryside around it.

Something has to be done regarding the shambles of the FBC.

The text of the letter is here or download it in .doc format from the link above.

15th September 2017

Dear Ms Fernandes

I am writing to express my concerns about a decision made regarding the planning application by Persimmon Homes to build on land north of Cranleigh Road and directly adjoining the school’s entire western boundary. I have shared my concerns with you on this matter before but events are escalating in a way that I think is detrimental to the quality of life in Portchester. If events remain as they are, the future looks bleak for the children and young people of this community.

Unfortunately, throughout my term as Headteacher, this rich piece of open countryside (known as the land north of Cranleigh Road) has been under the more or less continuous threat of ‘development’ and previous attempts to seek permission to build have been rejected by Fareham Borough Council. Earlier in the year yet another application was made to the Borough Council (http://www.fareham.gov.uk/casetrackerplanning - reference P/15/0260/OA) to build an estate of 120 houses on the land. I understand that this his application received over 500 objections from members of the local community and I added to these objections on behalf of the school. The Borough Council rejected the application on many grounds but the developer, Persimmon Homes lodged an appeal which was heard by an independent inspector in April. I recently heard that the appeal has been upheld which finally gives the green light for the destruction of this lovely piece of meadowland. I am fully aware of the pressures that housing needs place on local authorities but I do not believe that these pressures can ever justify the destruction of a beautiful, wildlife-rich area such as the meadow next to our school; such parcels of ‘urban countryside’ are precious and must be protected.

I wrote to you previously on this issue and you informed that it was a matter for local democracy, which I understand. Therefore, I was delighted when, in the case of the Cranleigh Road Meadow, the local opposition to the development was very strong. The local community and residents made a clear case for protecting the meadow against destruction and this case was heard by Fareham Borough Council, whose members overwhelmingly rejected the planning application by Persimmon Homes – a decision I believe to be entirely proper. However, with planning laws as they are, the developer has the last right of appeal and as I mentioned above the independent inspector overturned the overwhelmingly strong views of the local community and its local Borough Council. Clearly, local democracy does not ultimately have teeth and this troubles me greatly.

I also understand that the independent inspector acknowledged the case to prevent the destruction of Cranleigh including its ecological and environmental value but, due to flaws in Fareham Borough Council’s long term housing plan (i.e. the inspector judged that the plan had not identified land for a sufficient number of homes over the next five years) he would therefore uphold the developer’s appeal. I find this troubling too; it appears that the destruction of the Cranleigh meadow is effectively the punishment for Fareham Borough Council’s deficient housing plan.

I always feared that if a rich ecological site like the Cranleigh meadow could be destroyed then it would undoubtedly open the flood gates for developers with sights on less ecologically valuable sites and this has proven to be the case.

There is now a proposal to build 250 homes on land next to Romsey Avenue, the developer Foreman Homes openly admitting this was because of the Cranleigh ruling. In two adjacent fields alone that would be an additional 370 homes. However, we are also facing threats in other parts of Portchester. Radian Homes is proposing to build on Seafield and Millar Homes wants to build on Winnham Farm. All of these sites (and rumours of others) if built on would have a catastrophic effect on Portchester. Strong words but no exaggeration.

Portchester is a village – separated from Fareham by a small area of open countryside to the west. The scale of housing proposed would completely change the distinctive character and sense of place of a community. I find this unacceptable and immoral. The current building frenzy has taken on a ‘Wild West’ feel – land is being grabbed and built on with little or no regard to the needs and wishes of the local community. I know from a great many residents that people are upset and angry; Portchester is a powder keg. The local community feels that there is no justice – local democracy has been trampled on – and they feel that a place they hold dear is going to be effectively destroyed in terms of character. Residents fear that development is out of control and I don’t think it’s overstating the issue when I say that many residents fear for their quality of lives. I completely sympathise with these views.

The infrastructure of Fareham generally is currently under great strain. A significant additional influx of yet more housing will create needless acute problems for residents wanting access to local doctors’ surgeries, for example, and needing places in local schools – which are full and many, like ours, oversubscribed. It is surely madness to knowingly and intentionally create unacceptable pressures on local services? Again the residents and local community will be made to suffer at the hands of profiteering developers. In my view this is neither fair or moral.

The transport system is at full stretch. For residents and people like myself and many of my colleagues we need a car to get to work. Public transport is not adequate. An influx of just a few hundred houses is going to have a massive impact on travel. It matters not whether commuters or residents use bus or car, the queues are the same. I have heard that ‘someone somewhere’ has ideas to ease congestion but this is pie in the sky thinking. The fact is that roads in this part of the world are congested to the point of standstill – quite literally - at certain times. It only takes an accident on the M27 to create utter gridlock on the A27 and this is not an unusual occurrence.

As well as making journeys increasingly longer and more difficult, increasing car use will assuredly have a negative impact on the air quality and the environment. The effects of Nitrogen Oxide and particulates in exhaust gases are well documented, particularly the impact of these exhaust fumes on young developing children. The loss of open space is concerning too – again we now know the value of this on the emotional well-being of communities. Children need outdoor places to poke about and explore, to get them away from the sedentary computer screen lifestyle. There are many strong arguments for protecting the small pockets and parcels of open space we have.

I fully understand those pressures to provide housing but until we have properly used existing brownfield sites and there are no empty properties then I cannot accept that we should contemplate the destruction of countryside – even countryside with an urban patchwork. In fact, it is probably MORE critical to protect these last remaining urban open spaces.

I think Portchester, and indeed other parts of the Borough of Fareham have reached a tipping point; I believe we have reached a point where the quality of place, indeed the quality of life, risks being severely compromised by yet more development. I believe a great many residents and workers in the local community feel this too. People are angry and I think the time has come for a significant and serious intervention from you, our local MP.

This has now gone beyond just a matter of local democracy; indeed local democracy is, as demonstrated by the Cranleigh meadow decision, ultimately powerless. Nor can I believe that the Cranleigh decision is unique. I suspect similar scenarios are being played out in other parts of the country – another reason for getting a grip on this pernicious matter at governmental level.

I would be very grateful if you could look into this matter and help to stop Portchester and Fareham becoming just another bland and unremarkable over-developed piece of land that is part of an ever-growing, homogenous urban sprawl.

I look forward to your response and action on this matter.

Yours sincerely

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Let's hope that they can find somewhere in the future

03-09-2017

Geese on the fields of Portchester Geese on the fields of Portchester Photos of our 'Lady Snowdon' in a Cranleigh Road (farmers) field, a dear goose who has travelled thousands of miles year after year to this area, and who returned with her offspring last year. I believe she is now with her flock in the fields at Romsey Avenue, Portchester.

Will these geese have a home next year? Will they arrive to the sounds of cement and bricks being laid, finding their place of safety is no more? Our wildlife also needs a place to live, a safe place to rest. The Journey of these geese is quite remarkable. They don't have a cockpit full of navigational wizardry and yet they make a remarkable journey, a journey which should inspire us all.

We all have a responsibility to the wonders of nature and before tearing up more green fields we should stop looking merely at ourselves and what we desire, we should look at what we are doing to the wider landscape and take some responsibility for the ecological vandalism that is being pursued

Later in the year, Brent Geese will arrive, although in much smaller numbers. Their Journey is just as remarkable. Let’s all hope the fields of Portchester and those beyond continue to offer them a home this year and for many years into the future.

If it at all possible please be observant and if you can take a phot of Brent geese resting or feeding on the Cranleigh Road Fields or indeed, any other fields that developers may have their sites set on, please take a photograpg and post it to info@informfareham.org.uk

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Fact or Fiction?

30-08-2017

We have been told that “The present deluge of planning applications directed at our greenfield sites is nothing to do with the Cranleigh Road Appeal decision.”

"Our existing plan would suffice until we had updated it. So no, no mess made. We fought the appeal in good faith with the support of the residents of Portchester"

Let us try to clarify that.

No one is denying that Fareham Borough Council fought the Cranleigh Road Appeal in good faith, of course they did. The issue is whether their case was sound. The problem of course was that our present plan was adopted in May 2015, before the announcement of an  additional 2000 new homes.

In May 2015 both the  Welborne plan and the  Local Plan 2 were found sound by an independent government inspector after a prolonged process which included 4 days of public hearings. The Local Plan 2 which addresses developments outside of Welborne was given the green light, in fact, the inspector said in Paragraph 50 of his report “A number of alternative/additional housing sites were put forward by representatives but bearing in mind the ‘cushion’ that I refer to above and the soundness of the Council’s allocated sites, there is no justification for concluding that any of these proposals from interested parties should become allocations”.

Back in May 2015 the inspector fully supported Fareham Borough Council’s strategy. Headlines at the time read:

So what has changed?

Barely 5 months after the adoption of the local plan Fareham Borough Council announced in November 2015 an additional 2000 plus new homes on top of Welborne. The document called  “Where next for Housing”sets out the case for yet another expansion of new homes. The promise build “Welborne and that’s it” was to become just another soundbite like so many before it. However there was a new soundbite, "we have to realign our local plans."

To find a home for 2000 additional homes the Council embarked on a  Call for Sites programme.

Through November and December, 2015 landowners were asked to submit land which could be considered for development. The result was only too predictable; Landowners falling over themselves to bring their proposals forward, in fact enough land was proposed for over 10,000 new homes, making Welborne look tiny if that's possible. The Call for Sites and the various responses which came forward were to form the basis of the review for our Local Plan, all of the sites brought forward were to be assessed against a whole raft of criteria and a list of preferred sites would then emerge and be presented to the public through a public consultation. The proposed timetable is set out below,

All sites, whether they were to make the preferred list or not, needed to go through a rigorous, evidence based process. The critical issue should have been that the Council through this strategy, would remain in control with regard to what land should come forward for housing. In March 2016 PUSH published this important document,  Objectively Assessed Housing Need up date. This is a crucial document because it sets out new targets for housing delivery.

There was a problem however, developers were keen to understand the evidence behind the call for sites and what was driving it. More importantly could they take advantage of the data supporting the decision to announce these 2000 additional new homes, especially when Welborne was where most people thought it would be, immobile, stationary, problematic, and for anyone moving this massive and complex development forward, fraught with huge difficulties. To be fair to Buckland Developments, they haven't been dragging their feet on Welborne, they are trying to tackle the immeasurable complexities which some would like us to believe are merely child's play.

This is where the Cranleigh Road appeal was so lethal for Fareham Borough Council, why today we are seeing a procession of planning applications to build on our greenfield sites and why the Cranleigh Road Appeal has everything to do with the current deluge of planning applications that we are reading about on a daily basis. Developers have other plans, they are not prepared to wait until the Autumn of 2019, they see our local plan as discredited, holed below the water line and an opportunity to develop now. They, not the Council, are driving the Call for Sites, they are not waiting for the review of the Local Plan to take place where all the sites would be examined which is the council's current intended position. Developers are saying that the Cranleigh Road Inspector's report demolishes any defence FBC had against bringing forward housing now. The inspector has beyond any doubt, created huge problems for our Council, he has made it extremely difficult to defend any site which developers wish to bring forward, although each individual site will still have its own development parameters.

The question, “Is the present deluge of planning applications directed at our greenfields anything to do with the Cranleigh Road Appeal decision?”

The answer is.....Absolutely, and that is why Cllr. Woodward needs to move aside and allow someone who can take Fareham forward without this continuous political spin getting in the way of progress.

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Fareham's pollution woes

25-08-2017

Quotes from The News

"The Environment Agency has named Fareham Borough Council as one of 30 councils in the UK which have excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide, breaching the EU Commissions limit.

The fears also follow news that Southampton was ranked as one of the UK’s most toxic and polluted cities by the government along with London, Birmingham, Derby, Leeds and Nottingham.


 Link the an article in The Echo

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Where will it all stop?

25-08-2017

Since the Cranleigh Road Appeal was announced, developers are queueing up to bring forward sites across Fareham for development. Today the field next to the Cranleigh Road appeal site was targeted. Further sites across Fareham will shortly become prey, sites in Stubbington, the Western Wards and in Portchester.

It seems daily sites are joining a distressing list of greenfield sites to which developers are displaying no mercy in their quest to develop. Surely someone needs to take responsibility for this disaster? Welborne was the route to stop all this. The public deserves an explanation, but above all, they want to see a plan to stop this carnage of our greenfields.

Welborne instead of being our protector seems to be our undoing. Welborne was rammed down our throats as being the answer to development here in Fareham.

What is more disturbing, none of these smaller sites will create any funding for infrastructure. Remember the cry, we need large sites to ensure infrastructure can actually come forward. What happen?

It is time for developers to take full responsibility and be obliged, no matter how big or small a development is, to fund local extensions to our healthcare and educational facilities within our communities.

If developers want to build then alongside that objective should be a clear obligation to provide the necessary funds to ensure our local services which we all depend on are not eroded and become fragmented. Our Local GP practices and schools work hard to ensure they provide what we all expect of them, a service fit for purpose, a service we can be proud of.

Today, a developer can build 100’s of houses and yet provide not a single penny towards local services. It is plain wrong for them to be allowed to move the burden of financially providing increased service provision, which comes with development, big or small, solely onto the already financially stressed service providers. It cannot be right.

With the government washing their hands of any responsibility for meeting the cost to meet the broadening of local services to meet the many challenges local developments bring and are having on our local communities, developers must NOT be allowed to continue to shirk their social responsibilities.

If developers want housing, then communities demand the necessary funding to support their communities.

Update


Valid comment made about the Community Infrasture Levy. Not aware of a single GP surgery or local school which had access to such funding.

This was answer to a written question to December's 2016 Council meeting

The Government’s intention for the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was to help to make development more acceptable to local residents by providing the necessary infrastructure. The guidance is set out in the Planning Practice Guidance:

‘Local authorities must allocate at least 15% of levy receipts to spend on priorities that should be agreed with the local community in areas where development is taking place. This can increase to a minimum of 25% in certain circumstances (where there is a Neighbourhood Plan).
Communities without a Parish, Town or Community Council will still benefit from the 15% neighbourhood portion (or 25% portion, if a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order has been made).

If there is no Parish, Town or Community Council, the charging authority will retain the levy receipts but should engage with the communities where development has taken place and agree with them how best to spend the neighbourhood funding. Charging authorities should set out clearly and transparently their approach to engaging with neighbourhoods using their regular communication tools e.g. website, newsletters, etc.’

Could the Executive Member set out:

5. The process Fareham Borough Council uses to decide how CIL funds are to be spent and confirm that the Council follows the Government’s Guidance?
6. The consultation process Fareham Borough Council follows with regard to community engagement in determining how the neighbourhood funding is to be used.
7. How much CIL has been collected, split out by ward?
8. How much has been charged and collected in relation to the housing development at Fareham College?
9. Community Infrastructure Levy Account
(a) How much has been collected since CIL started?
(b) How much has been spent?
(c) What is the CIL account balance?

Responses from the Executive Leader:


5. The Council is compliant with the CIL legislation. It also pays due regard to the Government Guidance in calculating, charging and spending CIL. The legislation is clear that in areas where there is no Parish, Town or Community Council or Neighbourhood Plan, the Charging Authority (i.e. the Council) may use CIL to support the funding of the provision, improvement, replacement, and operation of maintenance of infrastructure of the area - the area in this case being the Borough of Fareham.

Members should be aware that a number of changes to the CIL regulations have occurred since the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) regime was put in place by the Council. In addition, the Government announced at the beginning of this year that it was reviewing the CIL regulations and that there would be potential changes to how Councils can collect and spend CIL. Whilst there has been some delay to these changes being published, it is anticipated this will be issued in early 2017. Therefore, in view of these circumstances, the Council will be reviewing its CIL regime to reflect the changing situation after the anticipated Government changes next year.

6. The Council is committed to engaging with the community regarding what infrastructure is needed to support the development of local areas and the wider Borough. For example, as part of the preparation of the adopted Local Plan, the Council engaged with local communities at every stage of the plan making process regarding the likely developments coming forward and what infrastructure would be needed to support development. However, as previously mentioned, the Council will be reviewing its CIL regime to reflect the changing situation after the anticipated Government changes next year and as part of the ongoing work with communities who wish to commence the neighbourhood plan process.

Depending on the Government changes early next year, the Council will then be in a position to clearly set out how it will consult with those local communities where development is taking place on how the 15% neighbourhood portion of CIL receipts are to be spent.

To read the full answer see  Item 13 of the agenda.

Article written by Shaun Cunningham.

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Pressure growing for resignation

16-08-2017

After the debacle over the Cranleigh Road planning appeal pressure appears to be growing for the resignation of Fareham Borough Council's Executive Leader. He promised the people of Fareham that if the Welborne Garden Village went through then there would be no more large scale in-filling on the fields of Fareham. The result of this appeal proves beyond doubt that this is not the case and ever since the log jamb that was caused when the compulsory purchase order idea was introduced has not been so. Indeed during the Welborne enquiry Government inspector, David Hogger approved a plan to make it more difficult to build on 21 greenfield sites including the land of north of Cranleigh road. However that doesn't seem to have helped much because of the delays in bringing the plan to fruition.  Link to The News article
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Help us plan for Fareham's future say FBC

08-08-2017

Fareham Borough Council is consulting on its draft Corporate Strategy. This important document sets the Council's agenda for the coming years up to 2023,

Please ensure you have your say before 16 October 2017.

Following consultation with residents, six main priorities for the next five years have been agreed:


 Link to survey and the chance to win £100.

There will also be "Engagement Events" at the following venues:
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Wicor Primary School hits the big time

21-06-2017

Isn't it absolutely wonderful that one of our local primary schools can make the headlines like this. They obviously derive great pleasure from projects such as this and it most certainly must help their education - who knows, we could be talking about a future Alan Ttitchmarsh here.

The downside is that this could all be under threat of development, we should know sometime next month, let us hope that this may help swing the inspector in favour of rejection of the Cranleigh Road development.

The News icon Link to The News article

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MPs lack of response to the Welborne question

08-06-2017

As I am sure we all expected UKIP and the Conservative and Unionist Party couldn't / didn't / wouldn't /couldn't be bothered to respond. Well that just about sums up the current attitude to the electorate from those who should be answerable to us. If the question is too awkward we'll just ignore it, eventually it will go away.

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Thank goodness for the videos

07-06-2017

If we hadn't videoed the Executive Committee meeting on Monday I don't think that The News could have written this article. Cllr. Woodward's quotes are verbatim and I don't see how that could be the case because as far as I could see there was no representative of the press at the meeting. Maybe we should start charging for our services. Maybe I'll see you at one of the future meetings Loughlan.

The News icon Link to The News article

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MPs response to the Welborne question

05-06-2017

Well it's now the 5th of June and Malcolm Jones of UKIP and our Suella haven't bothered to answer the questions raised below. One would have thought that our incumbent MP would be quite keen to let us know her point of view on such an important matter. Maybe she thinks like her leader, that it's more important to get out there and press the flesh wherever in the coutry that may be, than it is to keep the residents of her constituency informed. I am afraid that to my mind it just shows the total arrogance of some politicians that they can ignore such an important subject as this. Perhaps she has no sensible response, who knows? I certainly don't, do you?

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CAT Meeting, Titchfield Community Centre Thursday June 1st 2017.

01-06-2017

 Link to the meeting videos


TITCHFIELD NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM:


This Forum, set up with the backing of Tory Councillor Evans and with the approval of FBC, encourages residents to have a say (The Neighbourhood Plan) in what gets built locally and where. If approved by FBC the Neighbourhood Plan can be incorporated within the FBC Local Plan. It looks good on paper but is probably a Tory dominated group of 17 people encouraged by the Tory dominated FBC to show that maybe they are listening and working with local communities. Okay, so let’s roll it out across the borough then. My problem here is that a similar proposal by the Village of Funtley was shot down by Cllr. Woodward and FBC on the premise that not enough people were interested – a statement refuted by the Funtley Village Society. Recently at a Funtley Governance Review FBC, refused to allow Funtley to become a Parish Council. What is the difference between Funtley and Titchfield you may ask? I guess it’s a matter of who your friends are.


FBC Local Plan:


The LP is being reviewed in the light that an additional 2000 homes are now needed for Fareham – this is over and above Welborne. What Cllr. Woodward consistently fails to mention is the total figure of 12,000 new homes that are needed to fulfil the commitment he has made for Fareham up to 2036 wearing his PUSH hat. To do this FBC has asked for residents/developers to identify sites around the borough that can be built on. Obviously the question will be asked then, why are developers being refused permission to build at Cranleigh Road/Brook Lane etc.? Well, to be fair brownfield sites must be used first and if these sites are deemed to be greenfield sites and if they are not in conformity with the local plan then planning permission will be refused. This doesn’t stop appeals though. However, with the borough committed to building so many new homes one will wonder what will happen when the number of suitable sites DOES run out! In this context he mentioned the regeneration of Fareham Town Centre where FBC envisage building up to 900 new homes. He also spoke about bringing together the Ashcroft Centre and Ferneham Hall and knocking down the Osborn Road multi-storey car park. He also spoke about the new 85 bed hotel envisaged for the town centre (A Premier Inn?) This 5-storey hotel will be built at the expense of FBC (us) above Waterstones. Woodward thinks this will make FBC lots of money and will keep council tax down. I can’t help but thinking this will end up as something of a pigs ear.For our sakes I hope not. In that contect a questioner asked about parking for the hotel stayers. Well, they can stay in the muilti-storey car park overnight, he retorted – the one he is going to knock down you may recall. During the meeting the issue of Newlands was raised. Woodward’s answer to this was Hallam Land Management has made no further progress. Many take the view that HLM are sitting on their hands waiting to pounce. We have also heard a worrying development that Suella Fernandes has quietly admitted that the Stubbington bypass WILL facilitate the Newlands development. Watch this space. On that matter Woodward claimed that the bypass is fully funded and building should start in two years time. He spoke about £1.2 billion government funding being available to build affordable homes. He didn’t say these would be built at Welborne even if FBC do get their hands on some money These can be sold to buyers at a 20% discount. However, that is a 20% discount on local prices. So, if that property would be sold at an average cost locally of say £250,000 then it would STILL cost £200,000 to buy. A price out of the reach of many local young couples I would suspect. What Cllr. Woodward doesn’t make clear is that the £1.2 billion pot is not just available for Fareham. The developers of any site similar to Welborne, say, can bid for a slice of that money. I think there are 15 or so similar ‘garden village’ sites in the pipeline, so it is actually not such a big deal.


WELBORNE:


Much of what he said about Welborne we already know. He also repeated his views about Buckland and the CCGs. The for-sale date for the Benge land passed on June 1st: So who has made a bid for it? Woodward is adamant that the CCGs MUST build a health centre and implied that it will be illegal if they don’t because Mr Hogger said they should – or words to that affect. I personally don’t buy into that - although I’m no legal expert by a country mile. Anyway he wove the S.O.S for Health into his spiel and said that Hunt would be putting in a good word on the subject. I assume he thinks the Tories will sweep to power with a massive majority next Thursday and he will force his colleagues in the treasury to stump up the money that the CCGs are so lacking. Anyway, once again, the connotations of that utterance are interesting. Apparently there have now been 51 expressions of interest to build Welborne. FBC are going to sift through the list on Monday June 5th. One can’t see Buckland sitting back taking that lying down if someone else is chosen!! Why would they? If a new partner was chosen then a new OPA would have to be drawn up I guess, because I assume that Buckland would withdraw theirs. A CPO would be very much a last resort he said. In answers to a question about a railway halt being built at Welborne he said that Network Rail were doing a feasibility study to see if it would be worth while. Even Woodward admitted that carrying out such work would be very, very expensive. He admitted that such a station would be very much in the future. In answer to a question about who will fund the infrastructure at Welborne – which is quite considerable - he replied the developers. Well, they will need to recoup that expenditure – which is growing exponentially each year as Welborne gets delayed – so one might assume that not many low-cost houses here then!! At no point in his spiel did he mention any other of the setbacks facing Welborne - the gas pipeline etc - and the many other third party objections we know of so far. However, he did venture a start date: July 2019. So what happened to his statement that the diggers will move in by Christmas? Perhaps he didn’t mean this year.


ROAD IMPROVEMENTS:


Cllr. Woodward spoke about the many road improvements going on around the borough: Apparently the cost of these ‘improvements’ amounts to about £100 million. He noted that some of the cost for the Stubbington bypass will be borne by the businesses at Daedelus. I think we have mentioned it before that those businesses wishing to go to Daedelus have been offered a rate free period (two years?). Well does that stack up financially? Anyway, Cllr. Woodward implied that when all of the extensive roadworks are finished in a year or two all of the traffic problems will be solved. I think there were people at the CAT meeting who took a different view and certainly many people I have spoken to remain extremely sceptical. Bearing Daedelus in mind Woodward said the visitors lounge had been opened at Daedelus. I must pay that a visit. He also went on to say that 3000 highly skilled jobs would be created at Daedelus and that 1000 were already in post. That would be a very good thing apart from the fact that this figure may not stand up to a great deal of scrutiny. A number of the jobs do not appear to be ‘New’ openings but firms relocating primarily from Gosport to Daedelus.


IFA2:


In answer to a question about IFA2, Cllr. Woodward said that no detailed plans had been received yet. However, he said that it appears the height of the building was being reduced. He also added that National Grid have been asked to provide evidence re the safety aspects and any other affect on aircraft in real terms and not theoretical notions and figures. I did get the impression that FBC are starting to take the matter more seriously with regard to how it might affect the local environment. The forthcoming Stubbington CAT meeting may reveal more.


A SUMMARY OF THE REST OF THE NEWS:



Well that just about sums it up. There will be a further four CAT meetings throughout the borough over the coming weeks. You can find the dates in the diary.

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Will the M27 ever be improved?

20-04-2017

"A deadlock between Winchester City Council, developers and the Government risks losing £14million earmarked for major road improvements in Whiteley, the catalyst for the major North Whiteley housing development."

Daily Echo icon Link to the Daily Echo article

Does ANYBODY know what is going on?

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Fareham Borough Local Plan

16-04-2017

A letter sent to residents this morning suggested Fareham Borough Council doesn't have a local plan. FBC icon We have 3 actually.

The Fareham Borough Local Plan consists of three parts and sets out the Planning Strategy for the Borough up to 2026. The Council has recently committed to a review of its Local Plan to reflect emerging housing and employment needs until 2036.

The purpose of this review process is simply not to apply one large rubber stamp, 'Agreed' but hopefully to apply some robust thought to the many questions local residents are asking with regard to housing numbers and more importantly issues revolving around infrastructure and the destruction not only of our local wildlife habitats but our quality of life.

For some to suggest developers are bringing forward piecemeal development outside of Fareham Borough Council's local plan strategy because this Borough doesn't have a development plan is not only nonsense, but shows a clear lack of understanding of the facts and a willingness to pass the buck.

The potential developments at Cranleigh Road, Portchester and at Brook lane, Warsash are clearly outside of this Authorities, local plan part 2, which is why after careful consideration by planning officers and the planning committee both were rejected, to do anything other than reject the planning applications would have consigned the local plan part 2 to the trash bin.

The problem, of course, since the The Welborne Plan, local, plan part 3 and the Local Plan Part 2, Development Sites & Policies were adopted this Borough has added a further 2000+ new homes to an already inflated total. These additional homes will need, may I say it, a home. Whether that home is a brown field site or a green field site will be part of the review process of the local plan.

The local plan review will go out to public consultation at sometime in the future. It is critical that local residents have their say at that point.

The review of the local plan.


Do we have a Local Plan....YES. The Welborne delivery strategy and the different interpretations of the land supply figures will in my opinion form the core arguments as to whether the Cranleigh Road appeal should be allowed.

Any suggestion others are delaying the adoption of a local plan when FBC already have one in place is at best misguided and at worst a downright lie.

Article by Cllr. Sean Cunningham.

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Garden Village population densities

12-03-2017

The Office of National Statistics has released a very interesting interactive map of densities of the UK by local government areas. Nine of the 'Garden Villages' are in areas with an average population density of less than 400 people/km2, three between 1000 and 2000/km2 and two above 4000. Fareham comes in at 1530/km2. Because of Fareham's unique position between the most densly populated area outside of London and the large conurbation of Southampton, the real comparison is more like 3250/km2 (averaging out Portssmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Eastleigh and Southampton). The same argument could also apply to North Cheshire and Dunton Hills, although in both of these cases the effect would be to reduce the average density.

The figures seem to work out like this

Authority Density Authority Density
Bailrigg, Lancaster 44 Culm, Devon 166
Deenethorpe, Northants 148 Dunton Hills, Essex 4210
Halsnead, Merseyside 1689 Infinity Garden Village, Derbyshire 90
Longcross, Surrey 1390 North Cheshire 4448
Spitalgate Heath, Lincs 120 St Cuthberts, Cumbria 25
Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon 124 Oxfordshire Cotswolds 155
Welborne, Hampshire 1530 (3250) West Carclaze, Cornwall 153


Another point to remember is that South Hampshire can ONLY develop in one direction whereas Dunton Hills has 360 degrees of freedom, I honestly don't know enough about North Cheshire as I don't have enough information on the exact location. Is it right and can Fareham really afford this level of development?

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It's nice to know we are not alone

11-03-2017

It's nice to know that we are not alone in protesting about these new 'Garden' villages and towns.
Various other organisations similar to ours have been formed to object to the lack of TRUE accountability to the local residents, thousands of objections and still the plans go ahead (see the comments and link here).

Harlow & GIlston
Stop Harlow North
http://www.stopharlownorth.com/newindex.php

North Essex
Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex
http://www.cause4livingessex.com
and
Stop Erosion of Rural Communities in Local Essex
http://www.sercle.org.uk

Otterpool Park
No Otterpool New Town/Shepway Environment and Community Network
https://www.facebook.com/nootterpoolnewtown/?ref=nf

Dunton Hills
Residents Against Inappropriate Development
http://raid.org.uk

Aylesbury
Stoke Mandeville Action Group
http://www.sm-ag.co.uk

Bicester
Save Bicester
http://savebicester.co.uk

Culm
Residents Against Cullompton Exploitation
http://www.raceculmvalley.org

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Looks like Foreman Homes have set their sites on Titchfield now.

12-02-2017

Foreman Homes are holding a public consultation for an undisclosed development in Posbrook Lane, Titchfield.

Foreman Homes consultation


This is to add to the Foreman Homes Icon current list of developments that Foreman Homes are being created in the local, if not exactly in the Fareham, area.

These sites have all received planning permission,

so that is already 432 and they still have the 180 dwellings at Brook Lane on their website - I wonder if we can expect an appeal in the near future?

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Government admits England's housing market is 'broken'

10-02-2017

England’s housing market is broken, the government has admitted, with home ownership a “distant dream” for young families, as it unveiled a white paper promising a fresh wave of home building.

The communities secretary, Sajid Javid, told the House of Commons that average house prices had jumped to 7.5 times average incomes and rents in many places swallowed more than half of take-home pay.


Guardian icon Link to The Guardian article

And according to the Guardian - people who have fallen through the net need not expect to get any help.

Guardian icon Link to The Guardian article ⇧Top⇧



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