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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:
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.
Link to The News article
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.
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.
Link to The News article
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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."
Link to the Daily Echo article
Does ANYBODY know what is going on?
A letter sent to residents this morning suggested Fareham Borough Council doesn't have a local plan. 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.
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
|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?
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
Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex
Stop Erosion of Rural Communities in Local Essex
No Otterpool New Town/Shepway Environment and Community Network
Residents Against Inappropriate Development
Stoke Mandeville Action Group
Residents Against Cullompton Exploitation
Foreman Homes are holding a public consultation for an undisclosed development in Posbrook Lane, Titchfield.
This is to add to the 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,
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.
Link to The Guardian article
And according to the Guardian - people who have fallen through the net need not expect to get any help.
Link to The Guardian article ⇧Top⇧