All files have now been moved to the reading list - it just seemed tidier
The following map showing proposed developments was created from the planning documents filed with FBC from around the beginning of 2015. The sites shown are purely for new residential builds, it does not include extensions, replacement dwellings or industrial changes (except for Daedalus).
For your information these are the compilations that I created and from which I worked. I cannot guarantee that I have caught ALL of the applications but have done the best that I can. The rejected applications were only started at the beginning of January 2017 as that was when I first thought that the history of these sites might prove of interest in the future.
Approved planning applications
Undecided planning applications
Rejected planning applications
Click anywhere in map to enlarge.
There are two key stages in the decision making process with regard to determining a planning decision.
The case officer’s recommendation
The case officer will shape a final recommendation, for or against a planning application after collating all of the necessary evidence on a whole raft of issues. This process can be complex or on the other hand straightforward
For an example of complexity hop over to the Welborne outline planning application.
At this stage a developer may pay for pre-planning advice, an absolute bargain. This advice will set out to the developer what may be acceptable and what may not. The developer will get a gut feeling on how the thought processes are being moulded and what looks bad or indifferent and may feel confident to call the case officers recommendation after ongoing talks.
The public may feel the process gives the developer a huge advantage over them and in many ways it does. Developers can open up discussions with, let us say the ecologist, and even have a site visit where they can have a walk around the site, whilst the public is kept at arms length. Pre-planning advice is open to anyone submitting a planning application, from a rear extension to a 1000 acre development.
The public are not part of this process, although a freedom of information request may help to inform the public on the direction of those discussions.
At some point the case officer, after examining all of the evidence on a particular application, will make a recommendation. Clearly, an important moment in time, however, like the National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 14 the case officers recommendation is just that, a recommendation which can be parked in the long grass. The Seafield Road / Wicor Path recommendation is a good example where such a recommendation was rejected.
The planning Committee decision.
This is the big one.
How must elected councillors and other members of the local authority consider planning applications?
Local authority members are involved in planning matters to represent the interests of the whole community and must maintain an open mind when considering planning applications. Where members take decisions on planning applications they must do so in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Members must only take into account material planning considerations, which can include public views where they relate to relevant planning matters. Local opposition or support for a proposal is not in itself a ground for refusing or granting planning permission unless it is founded upon valid material planning reasons.
There is a lot of nonsense talked about what a member of a planning committee can and cannot do. Some believe planning committee members should remain silent and cocooned when in fact they can voice an opinion.
Can an elected member who has represented constituents interested in a planning application be accused of pre-determination or bias if he or she subsequently speaks or votes on that application?
Section 25 of the Localism Act 2011 clarifies that a member is not to be regarded as being unable to act fairly or without bias if they participate in a decision on a matter simply because they have previously expressed a view or campaigned on it. Note the word campaigned.
Members may campaign and represent their constituents – and then speak and vote on those issues – without fear of breaking the rules on pre-determination. Members may also speak with developers and express positive views about development. Note positive views, not negative views
A distinction can be drawn between pre-determination and pre-disposition. Members must not have a closed mind when they make a decision, as decisions taken by those with pre-determined views are vulnerable to successful legal challenge.
At the point of making a decision, members must carefully consider all the evidence that is put before them and be prepared to modify or change their initial view in the light of the arguments and evidence presented. Then they must make their final decision at the meeting with an open mind based on all the evidence.
At the end of the day, members of the planning committee are the decision-makers but that's not to say the case officer’s recommendation doesn’t carry weight, of course it does.
Quote from an article in The News
"FAREHAM Borough Council has approved a new strategy to protect rare and important birds along the coastline...
"Under the strategy developers are required to make financial contributions depending on how many homes are planned."
Funny how it all seems to be about "give us the cash, give us the cash". I wonder if they have thought of the more obvious way like leaving some land for the birds. Cash won't help them when all they have to land on is tarmac and rooftops.
When will our political leaders accept that supply will not on its own reduce housing costs. The honest truth is that we are building the wrong homes in the wrong places and in doing so merely adding fuel to the already inflated housing market, for example at Cranleigh Road in Portchester.
The headline figure for "affordable" housing on this site is 40%, affordable to whom? Certainly not the young family earning a joint income of less than £20,000. There are many residents whose only chance of a home is social housing and yet that group are merely delivered sound-bites to justify building thousands of new homes which will do nothing for their plight - what an absolute disgrace.
Will the 400 new homes approved for Warsash deliver the answer to those who need truly affordable housing? Of course not. Yet we go on building and promising the earth to those at the bottom of the housing ladder and just deliver mere words, 'the next greenfield will be the answer' when we all know it is just sheer fantasy.
It's time that politicians started to be a little honest and to find some modicum of common sense.
Link to an article in The Guardian
Quote from The Guardian
"Developers were using viability assessments to argue that meeting set ratios of affordable homes would cut their profits to below 20%, at which point they have the legal ability under current law to negotiate to reduce how many they are required to build.
In one example, a land promoter succeeded in eliminating affordable homes from a Redruth scheme on the grounds it was not financially viable, reducing the quota from 40% of the development to zero – before going on to advertise the land as an attractive development opportunity with a guide price of £1.3m."
How is it that the Supermarkets survive on a 2%-3% profit margin but builders need a minimum of 20%? No wonder housing is so expensive.
Quote from the Daily Mail
"In return, councils will have clearer expectations of the number of homes they must build for their communities. There can be no fudging it. Councils must get those homes built, as a minimum. If anything, we want them to go further. But, it’s not a one-way street. We’re investing billions of pounds to support ambitious local authorities. We recognise the challenges they face. Residents worry about new developments. Will it mean struggling to get an appointment at their local doctors’ surgery, or more congestion on the roads? So, ensuring that that new homes don’t add to existing pressure on services or quality of life is essential. Our targeted funding will provide the roads, utilities, schools and clinics so that, as we build more homes, we build up stronger communities too,"
"Southern Water seek to gain Michael Gove’s approval to increase river abstraction to levels NEVER SEEN BEFORE. Climate change is exacerbating the situation. We desperately need alternative & timely options to supply public water.
Beginning 13th March, Southern Water through public inquiry are asking Michael Gove (Secretary of State) to approve their increased abstraction plans directly. If upheld, this will by-pass the normal procedures for obtaining an abstraction licence, and will not involve full public consultation including direct and fair engagement with river owners and users - an absolutely CRUCIAL involvement as there is so much at stake in these very complex decisions. SW are using ‘strong arm’ tactics in the Inquiry to make the EA use their legal powers to force river owners and users to co-operate.
Some of these proposed actions are highly emotive and again deny the public the fair right to comment."
Quotes taken from a 38Degrees campaign article
The position that FBC find themselves in is not an easy one to manage, however it is not of residents making. The overwhelming view from residents is that there needs to be development and the various communities are, reluctantly, but never less resigned to the fact that space needs to be found for it.
The issue then becomes one of fairness. Is it right that Warsash, Wallington, Funtley and Portchester should learn that they are expected to give over their green spaces when there is so little of it left, while other communities take no new housing allocations?
Fareham currently cannot demonstrate a 5-year land supply but that does not mean we should allow developers to go unchallenged. We have a Local Plan in place that supports a raft of planning policies set out in
Local Plan Part 1: Core Strategy
Plan Part 2: Development Sites & Policies
Take DSP40: Housing Allocations within The Local Plan Part Two
”Where it can be demonstrated that the Council does not have a five year supply of land for housing against the requirements of the Core Strategy (excluding Welborne) additional housing sites, outside the urban area boundary, may be permitted where they meet all of the following criteria:
Were all these points satisfied with regard to the Warsash Sites passed at the last planning committee? Some say yes, some say no.
Presently we have sites coming forward that are allocated housing allocations within the Draft Local Plan and sites which have been unallocated and do not play any part in the forward thinking of future housing allocations. It would seem for example, housing allocations within the Draft Local Plan are not being given the same protection that DSP40 offers in contrast to unallocated sites where DSP40 is being applied with real thrust and firmness.
What we should have is a level playing field on ALL sites which developers challenge. It seems that there is no will to fight some sites.
There is also the question of PUSH’s housing numbers not being offered up to any outside scrutiny when clearly they should have been, a major point to be raised at a future public inquiry on the Local Plan, however, sadly too late for some communities.
The point is that the outline would make interesting evidence to a future development appeal. It seems that the Cranleigh Road Inspector simply accepted that PUSH consulted the public, when they did not.
What we will see in the months ahead is developers bringing forward unallocated housing sites which seem to make a mockery of the argument that there are no alternative sites to allow a more balanced Draft Local Plan to come forward. The big question will be FBC be able to demonstrate a 5 Land Supply in the foreseeable future, that’s anyone’s guess.
There was an interesting point raised at Monday's Executive Committee Meeting by Cllr. Trott. Apparently the requirement for car charging points is with Hampshire County Council Highways. Considering that in just 22 years time, according to the recent announcements from our Prime Minister, hydro-carbon powered cars will no longer be available, then give it another 15 years or so, 2055, and you should all be driving around in electrical or maybe hydrogen cell powered vehicles. If the former then the odd communal charging point is just not going to be adequate. Can you imagine getting up at 2 o'clock in the morning so that you can charge your car to get to work in the morning?
Seriously it is NOW that ALL dwellings start being planned for this major change in the future. Surely each dwelling will need an adequate number of ACCESSIBLE charge points built in from the start or are there going to be miles of extension leads trailing across the footpaths (or even worse virtual footpaths), that of course is assuming that resident's cars can be parked close enough to their houses to make even this possible. Councillors at the meeting almost seemed to find this totally irrelevant with the normal shrug and an 'it's not our problem guv' attitude.
The video is available on the Inform Fareham video page under the Planning & Development, Welborne Garden Village" title. We may all laugh at the idea that petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 but at the moment that is exactly what our Government is telling us will happen. There are many arguments to this point - will there be enough electricity to supply the demand? Will there be enough way stations to allow drivers to reach their destinations? And I am sure that we could all think of many more. The only thing that we can do at this moment is to accept HMG's missive at face value, so surely there should now be a moral, if not legal, requirement for our councils to plan and organise accordingly and not wait until the last moment to suddenly realise that a major part of our future infrastructure is missing AGAIN.
With Premier Inn going in above the back of the Precinct and now Travelodge expressing an interest to join in on the act that should give more than enough dormitory space in Fareham. Is the Premier Inn in fact a PFI in reverse? If so, let us hope that FBC make a better job of it than Carillion did.
Quote by Cllr. Woodward in The News:
"Adding a low-cost hotel like Travelodge is an increasingly attractive choice, as it draws visitors, creates jobs and helps boost the local economy."
So that sounds as if we will have another soulless, slab sided block stuck somewhere in our fair Borough. It would seem that the preference of our council is for high end shops but low end sleeping establishments.
The agenda for the Planning Committee meeting to be held on the 24th January has now been released. Hopefully FBC will be supplying refreshments, with 414 new dwellings to be discussed, 5 other non-development plans and 6 planning appeals to be discussed this could drag on for quite a while, especially when you think that it took 34 minutes to throw out the idea of putting a garage door on a carport that wasn't big enough to take a modern SUV. It is either that or have they found a method to shortcut the presentations, deputations and cogitation. I think I might take my sleeping bag with me.
This level of work for any committee is absolutely ridiculous and just shows how little regard our Council has for due process.
Planning Inspectors are a law unto themselves, clueless and should be banished to the penguin colonies of South Georgia...they were somebody's thoughts on the Cranleigh Road Inspector who delivered his verdict in August of last year. Last week we had a Planning Appeal decision...Planning Inspector rejects plans to build 22 homes - to protect dormice.
The result being that there is no need for that particular inspector to book a passage to the inhospitable South Atlantic Ocean - although it may well be suggested the last thing the Penguins would cherish is a Planning Inspector looking over their breathtaking home with The National Planning Framework Policy under their arm and PUSH’s Objectively-Assessed Housing Need Update under the other.
So what do we make of this:
What we really need is another Inspector's appeal decision on a site the size of Cranleigh Road to determine whether the grounds to allow the appeal at Portchester were not flawed.
The Rookery Avenue Planning Appeal decision makes interesting reading and actually may be in conflict in some areas with the Cranleigh Road Planning Appeal decision
The main issues are the development’s effect on:
The inspectors view was that
"There is agreement that the Council cannot currently demonstrate the availability of a five year supply of deliverable housing land sites (an HLS). The provision of up to 22 dwellings would make a useful contribution to the HLS.
Notwithstanding the Council’s submissions on this matter, I consider that there can be little doubt that a development of this scale would come forward within five years and would, therefore, contribute to the HLS. The development in providing housing would generate some social and economic benefits.
The assistance with the HLS gains some support from the Framework’s policies that seek to boost the supply of housing. I also consider that inaccessibility terms the occupiers of the development would have good access to everyday services and facilities and public transport. Those are matters that all weigh in favour of the development."
28. It is contended that because of the absence of an HLS that the tilted balance in favour of sustainable development stated in paragraph 14 of the Framework should be applied. Paragraph 14 states: 'At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development ... For decision making, this means:
Amongst other things the Framework’s policies relating to the Birds and Habitats Directives are listed in the ninth footnote.
Paragraph 29 of his report:
Compare the above thoughts to Cranleigh Road Inspector's views on ecology
29. I have found that in the absence of there being mitigation for the development’s effects on the integrity of the SPA there would be unacceptable harm to the SPA. That harm gives rise to conflict with policies of the Framework which indicate that development should be restricted. Accordingly, I consider that paragraph 14’s tilted balance is not engaged, with this being a case that comes within the second sub-bullet point’s scope.
46. The site is located some 350m from the Portsmouth Harbour Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which forms part of the wider Portsmouth Harbour Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar Site. The appellant submitted ecological appraisals and produced an Ecological Construction and Management Plan. Given the proximity of the site to the national and internally designated sites referred to above, there is potential for the development to affect the interest features for which they were designated.
The appellant submitted to the lpa a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA), which has been assessed by Natural England (NE). Based on what I consider to be a robust study, the HRA concludes that having regard to measures that could be built-into the scheme and a financial contribution to the Solent Recreation and Mitigation Partnership, significant effects are unlikely to occur either alone or in combination on the interest features of the SPA and Ramsar.
In light of these finding, and similar to the conclusion reached by NE, I conclude that an appropriate assessment under the regulations14 is not required. Similarly, subject to the development being carried out in accordance with the details submitted with the application, NE indicates that the development would not damage or destroy the interest features for which the Portsmouth Harbour SSSI has been notified. Again, I have no reason to disagree with that conclusion.
There is an active badger sett within the site, which the appellant proposes to relocate within the area of public open space to the west. Badgers and their setts are protected by legislation15. Whilst the lpa has no objection to the relocation, the developer would require a separate licence from NE to remove the badgers. Whilst I note the concerns raised regarding the efficacy of artificial badger setts, they are, in my experience, in common usage and successful. I have no reason, in this case, to conclude there would be unacceptable harm or loss.
49. From the representations made both orally and in writing, I am in no doubt that the appeal site is highly regarded by local residents and the adjacent primary school as an ecological resource. The school’s activities in introducing its pupils to the natural world are substantial and nationally recognised. Although the appeal site is privately owned and there is no public access to it, I recognise that the school views the site as a resource and an indirect source for the wildlife that inhabits the school site. Clearly whilst there would be some loss of habitat, this relates to many species that are common and widespread.
50. The proposed area of public open space albeit it would be divorced from the school grounds by a housing estate, would be publicly available and could be laid out and managed as an improved ecological resource. Moreover, the tending and maturing of private gardens does provide a range of diverse habitats for a wide range of species. Whilst not a direct replacement the variety of habitats provided by private gardens would mitigate any impact on local ecology.
51. Drawing all of the above together, I conclude that the proposed development would not have a materially unacceptable effect on local ecology.
Planning Inspectors are independent and no two inspectors have the same narrow thought patterns. I suspect that Inspectors would fearlessly defend their Independence even if that means criticism of their work and therefore the correct route in questioning an appeal decision is to seek another appeal on a site of the same size and having the same issues. The good news, there will be plenty of opportunities in the coming months.
Appeal Ref: APP/A1720/W/17/3182716; Land South and East of Rookery Avenue, Swanwick
31. While the development would provide acceptable living conditions for its occupiers, I have found, on the available evidence, that there would be harm to the character and appearance of the area, the integrity of the SPA and the wellbeing of protected species. I therefore conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.
So land supply had absolutely nothing to do with this decision, it was all down to the wildlife. I wonder why the wildlife here was so much more important than that at Cranleigh Road? It must all be down to a postcode lottery. To be honest not much of a victory, as it is just 0.75% of the additional 2000 homes that have been added to the list since Cranleigh Road.
Link to an article in The News
Although they are NOT in the Development Allocations of the Draft Local Plan
We entered 2017 with the key words from our Council being “We are in control”. 12 months later it seems more like one of Blackadders statements as we will enter 2018 with a very different message, one of fighting for the identities of our local communities. Fareham faces a huge task in the next 12 months trying to regain control of where housing should be allocated within the Borough.
Our present Local Plan was holed below the waterline in August when the Council lost the Cranleigh Road Planning Appeal after developers successfully argued for a new benchmark on how housing numbers should be measured. What is so sad is that instead of acknowledging the ground had shifted, some continued to insist that all was well, they applied some political spin but of course trying to plug a major hole with words was never going to hold back the tidal wave which has only just started to gain momentum. Baldrick's cunning plan did what they always did and failed.
Then instead of trying forge a partnership with local communities, dictat became the tool of preference. Is it any wonder that our communities feel a degree of anger at the housing allocations brought forward within the Draft Local Plan? 2018 will be a difficult time for communities in that there will be a deluge of planning applications on already familiar development sites but also on sites which are off the present radar.
1) Local Plan Part 1: Core Strategy
The Core Strategy sets out the key elements of the planning framework for the Borough. It includes policies for areas and issues requiring development or protection and sets the principles for strategic sites. (The Core Strategy was adopted on 4th August 2011)
References on planning applications or within reports, for example, CS1 to CS22 can be found with the Core Strategy
2) Local Plan Part 2: Development Sites & Policies
The Development Sites & Policies Plan allocates sites and land for housing, retail, economic development, leisure, recreation and community uses, whilst also recommending areas for protection such as green spaces and conservation areas. The plan also sets out a vision for the future of Fareham Town Centre, a number of policies which influence the way land is developed around the Borough and helps guide decisions on planning applications. (The Development Sites and Policies Plan was adopted June 2015)
References on planning applications or within reports, for example, DSP1 to DSP56 can be found with the Development Sites & Policies Plan
Both plans carry weight in planning terms, however the Local Plan Part 2 must be seen against a backdrop of Fareham not having an acceptable 5 year land supply and the resolve of developers to use PUSH’s updated Objectively Assessed Housing Need Targets to push their grand design for Fareham forward, a design which is incredibly thoughtless and selfish.
The present Draft Plan which has just closed for public comment is young and carries little weight in planning terms. (Approximately 2500 residents submitted comments to Fareham Borough Council)
The Draft Plan is an attempt to resolve Fareham’s 5-year land supply issue and until this hole is plugged then developers will bring forward greenfield sites at their leisure and in their own time frame. What was really required was development options to form part of the draft plan process, sadly however that was not the case, so developers will bring forward those options for us and in doing so they will maintain control of the development process.
2018 will see many of the housing allocations within the draft plan being given the green light well before any Planning Inspector's eyes are cast over the housing allocation data, while others will get the red light only to see the Planning Appeal process kick in.
2018 will be another difficult year for local communities. The battle to protect our local wildlife must go on, the fight to demand and have a say in how our local communities are shaped is an important issue which will need our thoughts and attention. There will be much to do in the coming year and we must all play our part in shaping Fareham's future and endeavouring to make it a place still worth living in for our children and grandchildren.
We shouldn't be trying to just move the problems into somebody else's backyard. We need to reduce the total number of houses needed in our borough. South Hampshire just cannot cope with the level of development that PUSH has arranged for us. Just to move new housing estates from one ward to another will only move the associated problems and certainly won't affect the lack of health and education services.
Article in the Daily Echo
"The upgrade will help reduce the risk of flooding and will also ensure the sewer network can meet the demand of future new housing in Fareham."
It sounds really helpful for our future but will it help when the building starts? I have tried to see exactly what area this will affect but without paying a fortune for a map can't come up with any ideas. Considering that it is only a 600m length I can only surmise that it will resolve any problems from the Segensworth East area. What will happen when the Welborne and Funtley developments get going. It's going to need a great deal more.
Whilst trying to find more on this subject I came across this publication.although it is not politically a part of the Fareham area, when Welborne starts it might as well be, along with Knowle. The first few pages really are worth a read but need to be in conjunction with the audio files posted on the Videos page. They all seem so assured that there would be no problem but reading this makes me wonder.
Quote by Cllr Dennis Wright of Gosport Borough Council from the The News article
‘To be honest, I think we are being forced to overbuild in South Hampshire and it is putting services under a lot of pressure.
‘Queen Alexandra Hospital is already struggling to cope as it is, and things like this will only make matters worse.‘I believe that the whole thing is just crazy.’
Isn't that what we have been saying for ages now. Gosport Council have a voice at PUSH, perhaps they need to start shouting a little bit louder.
So said Cllr. Woodward - It's just a shame that they will never be affordable to those who have the real need.
Quote from the The News article
"FAREHAM may face difficulty getting the number of affordable homes in needs in the future, according to a construction firm.
Fareham-based company Low Carbon Construction Worldwide believes that developers that submit planning bids in accordance with the borough council’s draft local plan may attempt to avoid the required number of affordable homes."
It does make you wonder how many of the 4200 so-called affordable homes called for in the Local Plan will be built in Fareham over the next 20 years and let's be honest even the 'affordable' ones won't be within reach of so many of our younger, or even not quite so young citizens.
And still the applications roll on. This one was entered into the SHLAA but was not included for entry in the list of approved sites. Therefore it is ON TOP of the 2,200 and how far are we from having the Local Plan published? Don't forget the later the applications are made the more weight the Local Plan will have. Well this one is pretty early on.
Click either image to enlarge
Solent Times article
The Chatham House Rule reads as follows:
"When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
The world-famous Chatham House Rule may be invoked at meetings to encourage openness and the sharing of information.
Meetings, events and discussions held at Chatham House are normally conducted 'on the record' with the Rule occasionally invoked at the speaker's request. In cases where the Rule is not considered sufficiently strict, an event may be held 'off the record'."
If you notice it says 'MAY be invoked DURING a meeting'. Meetings are normally conducted 'ON THE RECORD'. So why is it necessary for our Executive Leader, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Development and Director of Finance and Resources to be involved in a freebie presumably funded by an organisation that takes their payment from developers. By banning ALL attribution and identification of attendees how can this lead to openness and sharing of information?
September - Cranleigh Road Portchester, appeal lost
October - Warsash, Funtley, Fareham Town and Portchester destroyed.
Now - Newlands
Today we hear Newlands has awoken from a deep slumber, is anybody really surprised? On Friday when the Review of the Local Plan was published, Warsash, Fareham Town Centre and Portchester were hit very hard with new housing. Today it is the the turn of South Fareham to receive some bad news. It is becoming like a game of rugby. Developers competing in a ruck to see who can push themselves over the line and win the game to bring their plans forward.
How depressing to witness our wonderful countryside being fought over in such a manner. The losers are the residents of Fareham who are merely spectators in a game where our local Plan is holed , weak, feeble, worthless and has no strength.
All we have now is political spin. The great Welborne promise can now be seen for what it always was a tall story plucked out of the air to serve a political game.
Click image to enlarge
So much for all of the money being spent on the A27 upgrade, this one should add new congestion to our very expensively upgraded road system. I just wish they would stop using the phrase 'affordable' homes, how about 'cheaper but still unaffordable'.
I guess that the attitude to parking is one of 'less people in 'affordable' homes can afford to own cars so we don't need as many parking spaces'. What seems to be forgotten is that 'affordable' houses are only 'affordable' for the first time buyer, after that they go back to full market value which means that owners can afford more cars. It's all short-termism again.
Link to the Daily Echo article.
Residents prepare to fight plans for 600 homes off Brook Lane in Warsash.
180 for Foreman Homes, 85 for Taylor Wimpey, 140 for Bargate Homes and 185 for Land and Partners. (links to planning applications).
At last our councillors are admitting the damage that was caused by the Cranleigh Road debacle, and this isn't the end of it yet, it isn't the beginning of the end or even the end of the beginning - it is the beginning of the beginning.
Quote from Cllr. Woodward's deputy Cllr Trevor Cartwright -
"Since the Cranleigh Road appeal has come out where the inspector has said that we have a two year housing supply instead of five has opened up the development floodgates which could have devastating consequences for Warsash and could increase the population 30 per cent."
Link to the Daily Echo article.
Picture from the above article - I am not too sure what he is so happy about, I do think that the Echo could have found a more appropriate one, possibly in deep despair with tears in his eyes.
The proposal, which would also include three schools, new shops and 50 hectares of green space, was submitted by a consortium comprising Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Bovis Homes and JGP Lakedale, and was approved by Winchester City Council in October 2015.
"Councillor Seán Woodward, leader of neighbouring Fareham Borough Council and a Solent LEP director, said: “The scheme is good news for locals because the £15m grant brings forward the development of vital roads infrastructure several years early."
With improved access to Whiteley will this add to Fareham Town Centre's demise and will the schools and other promised infrastructure appear like they did when Whiteley was originally built, late, very, very slowly and effectively unfinished?
Link to the Daily Echo article.
Some are suggesting that the Inspector’s report on Cranleigh Road is a rogue report and Mr S R G Baird had a bad day when writing it.
Does this argument stand up?
Appeal Decision - Land north of Cranleigh Road and west of Wicor Primary School, Portchester, Fareham, Hampshire
His report makes uncomfortable reading for many residents wondering if their local Greenfield site is next in-line for housing. The Cranleigh Road Inspector interestingly refers to the “The Navigator” appeal decision, 20th January 2015. When the appeal report was released it also came under a barrage of criticism.
Appeal Decision - Land adjacent to ‘The Navigator’, off Swanwick Lane, Lower Swanwick, Hampshire
Could it be argued the two inspectors were not that miles apart in their thinking with regard to allocations of land? Persimmon Homes refer to The Navigator report in their submitted evidence to the Cranleigh Road inspector and which formed a critical part of their argument, however, on reading the Cranleigh Road inspectors report it is very clear he supports The Navigator inspectors findings. The inspector's report on Cranleigh Road says “The Local Planning Authority was aware during the Navigator appeal in December 2014 that the Objectively Assessed Housing Need update - Push Document identified in the 2014 South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment is materially higher than the Core Strategy Adopted- local Plan -part 1.
The decision in the Navigator appeal, which was not challenged, (Key word there, not challenged) was predicated on an acceptance that 2014 Objectively Assessed Need provided a more suitable basis for a 5-year Housing Land Supply calculation”. The inspector goes on to say, and this is very important, “I consider that the 5-year Housing Land Supply should be assessed on the basis of the PUSH April 2016 - Objectively Assessed. The Cranleigh Road inspector fully endorsed “The Navigator“ appeal decision” (see "The Navigator appeal decision above).
It's all very well for some to say the Inspector in writing his judgement on Cranleigh Road was being unjust and his report is unbalanced, however if one reads the two appeal judgements they actual concur on some very important facts. Could it be argued, 'The Navigator' appeal inspector outlined a fault line within our local plan and the Cranleigh Road inspector merely endorsed it with calamitous consequences for Fareham?
ps. The Objectively Assessed Housing Need report, the one that originally started this calamitous train of events, was created by a company called GL Hearn who are part of the Capita Group. A quote from an article in The Independent
"The little loved outsourcing company Capita has just reported an ugly set of results. It's parting company with its chief executive, has seen £300m wiped from its market value, and is set to get booted out of the FTSE 100."
Some time has passed since the bombshell of the Cranleigh Road Appeal decision. Some are asking why the deafening silence? Perhaps the Executive Committee meeting on the 4th September will bring an announcement of some kind? There will be a video of the meeting posted. Let us hope that if there is one announcement made, that it will focus on how we move forward.
Reading the inspector's report leaves one deeply puzzled as to why there was such a yawning gap between the case presented by Fareham Borough Council and the conclusions of the inspector. The gulf between the parties is huge especially on the housing land supply figures. The base line for calculating the land supply figures and the case presented by the various camps were diverse in where the starting point was and just as importantly, the timing when new housing should come forward, especially in the short to medium term.
The Council's planning team are no fools, they have a huge amount of expertise and are extremely professional people. Could it be that there was some unknown influence pulling them in a direction they had no control over, against their professional judgement. That is pure speculation, however, there does seem to be something odd here.
At the meeting we may hear some news on Welborne, which is more or less certain to follow Buckland's proposals even though there are still major difficulties to overcome. It seems likrly that the CPO route is now history along with the preferred partner idea, although others may have a different opinion.
October's Executive on the 9th October is where the local plan review will be published and we will all know the preferred site allocations that the council favours, the key word here is preferred, developers have their own ideas and are happy to lead.
What will be interesting is the next housing development going forward to the Planning Committee. The question is, will the Council try to hold the line, because each greenfield site does have its own unique development yardstick, or will they accept the Cranleigh Road Inspectors assessment of the current housing land supply and pass the plans?
recently published a letter from a local resident. Because it was a letter it is not available in the on-line version of the paper so here it is in it's entirety - along with a reply from Cllr.Keith Evans
Tom Davies wrote to you regarding the result of Persimmon Homes’ planning appeal in Fareham.
He said it was regretful; and I am sure that most people in Fareham would whole heartily agree with him because the council will now ﬁnd it hard to turn down any planning applications, however undesirable.
The outcome of the appeal was, however, entirely predictable.
It wasn't because the planning system is broken, as Tom suggested, it was the council’s own fault.
Its defence against unwanted developments is the Local Plan and from its initial conception that plan has been a disaster.
Local community groups and lots of individuals have been pointing out its many, many flaws for years now, only to be ignored by the council. In fact, the council has treated all comments from them, however constructive, with a total disdain, and has even gone so far as to dismantle the mechanisms for consulting with them.
Tom Davies was right to say that people must have a say, but because of the council's arrogance that has not been happening.
In my view, the fault lies squarely with one person, Sean Woodward, the counci1’s executive leader, who has been the driving force behind this ﬁasco and has used his unelected role in the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire to force Fareham to accept unnecessarily high housing targets.
The Persimmon result is bad, but is probably only the beginning.
There may well be much worse to come. Cllr. Woodward has failed the people of Fareham and I believe that if he had any integrity he would resign.
And if he doesn’t go voluntarily then I think that, for their own good his party should remove him.
And Cllr. Evans's response
Mike Parsons letter last Friday was so inaccurate and misleading that I just had to respond (Time to go? Aug 18).
He is repeating (what he has been advised in the past is quite incorrect) statements about the Push organisation imposing or forcing housing numbers on to Fareham.
Push is a freely-collaborative organisation of a number of councils in our area (including Southamptongand Portsmouth) formed ‘to help improve awareness and collaboration on matters affecting our geographic area.
Push has never imposed or forced housing numbers on any of its members.
The Push members agreed a single consistent methodology to calculate housing need but the numbers were determined by officers of each participating council for their own council.
This methodology and the numbers Fareham are now seeking to meet was fully endorsed by the Cranleigh Road government inspector.
Councils forming the Push partnership have seen real beneﬁts from the collaboration in areas of sub-regional spatial planning, environmental analysis and economic strategies.
The Cranleigh appeal decision is very disappointing but is a result of delays in delivering houses at the Welborne site. Delays just about entirely down to family arguments (and consequent court case) from within one family that owned circa 40 per cent of the Welborne site.
These issues are now resolved and we have a single landowner and development promoter for about 94 per cent of the site.
As a consequence we should now see some rapid progress with laying of cement etc before the end of 2019.
Fareham Council’s pro-active delivery strategy has been a signiﬁcant factor in this resolution.
The council is now examining options to ensure that the Cranleigh decision does not result in the free-for-all Mr Parsons suggests - and I am conﬁdent that we will achieve this.
Cllr Keith Evans
Fareham Executive Member for
Planning & Development
Developers are queuing up at present, jousting to see who can be first to puncture a hole in Fareham Council’s local plan. It is all getting rather silly now, a few developers have submitted plans for sites which have previously been robustly rejected by the planning committee. They have used their right to launch an appeal, which is fine, although very tiresome, and have now submitted duplicate proposals while their appeals run their course.
The idea is to ensure they have an active proposal on the table just in case the Cranleigh Road inspector delivers a bombshell and allows Persimmon Homes’ planning appeal for their site at Portchester.
Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see where the Inspectors pen will fall. Developers are wishing for an early Christmas, while the rest of us are hoping for an unwavering rejection of Persimmon Homes’ plans.
The Cranleigh Road decision will be known anytime within the next 10 days. When the decision is released it could be a mixed bag for all of us. Let us hope the inspector's conclusions are positive for residents.
Come October, when the local plan review is released, all this sparring will begin all over again. What a thought, what a waste, what a slap in the face for local democracy!
The public consultation on Buckland's outline planning application for Welborne is now drawing to a close. However the good news is that if you are swift you can still play your part in trying to shape Welborne by making your thoughts known on the present plans for Welborne by heading over to Fareham Borough Council’s website and using the online comments form.
We live in a democracy do we not, where one can express ones thoughts freely on proposed developments like Welborne whether those thoughts are against, in support or indifferent to the proposals on the table without others getting upset?
Comments can also be made on the following.
Land East of Brook Lane, North of Warsash Road Brook Lane Warsash
Details: Outline Application With All Matters Reserved (Except For Access) For The Construction Of Up To 140 Residential Dwellings
Land To The East Of Brook Lane And South Of Brookside
Details: Outline planning permission with all matters reserved (except for access), for residential development of up to 85 dwellings with public open space, access from Brook Lane, landscaping works, including demolition of existing redundant nursery buildings
Brook Lane - Land to the east of - Warsash
Details: Outline planning permission with all matters reserved (except for access) for residential development of up to 180 dwellings , associated landscaping amenity areas & access from Brook Lane.
Land east of Posbrook Lane, Titchfield, PO14 4EZ
Details: Outline Planning Application For Scout Hut, Up To 150 Dwellings, We need to have some thought for the planning officers who have to deal with this barrage of destruction. If only developers could take some time out and read the local plan properly, put local residents before their desires to increase the land banks they all have and stop telling us this is good for our health, when all we want is for them to go away, all so unnecessary.
Land to the west of Seafield Road & Moraunt Drive; South of Tattershall Crescent Portchester Fareham
Details: Residential Development Of 49 Dwellings, And Provision Of Open Space And Habitat Land, Access Off Moraunt Drive
Reilly Developments propose a residential development scheme for the erection of up to 46 dwellings with associated parking, access, landscaping and surface water drainage at land off Sopwith Way, Swanwick.
The scheme currently identifies 46 dwellings, of which 18 would be provided as affordable housing, in the form of affordable rented (9 dwellings) and intermediate housing (9 dwellings).
The application site is situated within the designated countryside and adjoins Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINCs) to the north and beyond housing on the western side of Sopwith Way.
Link to the planning application
It is feared the 3,500 home North Whiteley development could no longer happen after claims of deadlock between Winchester City Council and developers over how many affordable homes should be on the site.
The proposals, which would include three schools, new shops and 50 hectares of green space, were submitted by a consortium comprising Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Bovis Homes and JGP Lakedale.
Link to the Daily Echo article.
There was a petition that failed through lack of support but the Government's response was quite interesting
“Local communities are not forced to accept large housing developments. Communities are consulted throughout the Local Plan process and on individual planning applications.
The National Planning Policy Framework strongly encourages all local planning authorities to get up-to-date Local Plans in place as soon as possible, in consultation with the local community. Up-to-date Local Plans ensure that communities get the right development, in the right place, at the right time, reflecting the principles of sustainable development. Through the White Paper we are ensuring that every part of the country produces, maintains and implements an up-to-date plan, yet with the flexibility for local areas to decide how to plan in a way that best meets their needs.
A wide section of the community should be proactively engaged so that Local Plans, as far as possible, reflect a collective vision and a set of agreed priorities for the sustainable development of the area, including those contained in any neighbourhood plans that have been made.
The Framework recognises the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. That is why our proposals are focussed on development in built up areas.
We are also absolutely clear that Green Belt must be protected and that there are other areas that local authorities must pursue first, such as brownfield land and taking steps to increase density on urban sites. The Government is committed to maximising the use of brownfield land and has already embarked on an ambitious programme to bring brownfield land back into use.
We believe that developers should mitigate the impacts of development. This is vital to make it acceptable to the local community and to addresses the cumulative impact of development in an area. Both the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 agreements can be used by local planning authorities to help fund supporting infrastructure and address the cumulative demand that development places on infrastructure. Through the White Paper, the Government announced that it will examine the options for reforming the existing system of developer contributions to see how this can be simplified, with further announcements at Autumn Budget 2017.
The £2.3billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will deliver up to 100,000 new homes by putting in the right infrastructure, in the right place, at the right time. We expect the fund to be able to deliver a variety of types of infrastructure necessary to unlock housing growth in high demand areas.
There is nothing automatic about grants of planning permission where there is not yet an up-to-date Local Plan. It is still up to local decision-makers to interpret and apply national policy to local circumstances, alongside the views of the local community. Applications should not be approved if the adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits; or if specific policies in the Framework indicate that development should be restricted.
Communities are also able to make representations on individual planning applications and in response to most appeals by the applicant against a local authority decision. Interested parties can raise all the issues that concern them during the planning process, in the knowledge that the decision maker will take their views into account, along with other material considerations, in reaching a decision.
We therefore do not believe a right of appeal against the grant of planning permission for communities is necessary. It is considered that communities already have plenty of opportunity to have their say on local planning issues, and it would be wrong for them to be able to delay a development at the last minute, through a community right of appeal, when any issues they would raise at that point could have been raised and should have been considered during the earlier planning application process.
Department for Communities and Local Government
Everyone needs to take a deep breath at this point. In the months ahead some of our communities are going to hear news they will dread, news of development that they did not seriously believe would happen.
New housing figures are set, however within the overall total, the actual location of where they will be allocated is still being mapped out. Yes, we have Welborne and many would recognise the figure of 6000 new homes but even that figure is very fluid in that FBC needs to be realistic in what can be achieved between now and 2036.
Looking at all the data, the shortfall in new housing to be allocated by way of the review of the local plan is approximately 2000 or so. The figure actually drifts back and forth as planning officers survey and validate supporting evidence, but generally speaking, our shortfall is around 2000, give or take a few hundred.
If we take out the 600 already allocated for the Town Centre which has been revised downwards from a high of 800, that leaves approximately 1400 ± 200. This figure could, and in all probability will change, but not drastically.
There is one point we all should be aware of, the review of the local plan will undoubtedly mean sites which are being rejected today will inevitably be placed within the new local plan.
The review of the local plan is under way. The problem is, when the draft of that plan goes public in the Autumn, our present plan starts to lose its value and the weight will shift towards the direction the new plan will take. Developers and landowners will grasp that opportunity. Hence so many variables at play.
The review of the local plan will go out for public consultation and residents can voice their thoughts. Please do so, it is very important you do, although this opportunity is still some months away.
We need to be realistic and honest here, the additional homes which have been adopted into Fareham's new housing numbers have to go somewhere, NO is not an option. Any frustrations and there will be some for sure should be directed to those who are responsible for allowing Fareham to become a builders yard and in doing so destroying the fabric of this town.
Time frame of the Local Plan
Britten-Norman still aren't overly happy with the idea
"A spokeswoman said: “Britten-Norman operates in the aerospace industry which is both highly regulated and extremely safety conscious.
The studies undertaken by National Grid are helpful in highlighting some of the potential risks but at present do not in themselves propose solutions to deliver full mitigation of the risks.”"
Neither is Caroline Dinenage MP or the Hillhead Residents Association who have applied to Sajid Javeed to have the planning permission revoked because the correct place for this is Fawley and not here.”
Interesting times ahead.
Link to the Daily Echo article.
Click in the picture to enlarge
Almost everyone was surprised by the Fareham converter decision - but not, it seems, the National Grid, whose baby it is. A week before the council's pronouncement, the grid awarded contracts of more than half a billion pounds for the construction of the monster. Nice to be in the know."
Article in the Private Eye satirical magazine.
The development, Friary Meadow, will be built in fields just off Cartwright Drive, near Titchfield Abbey in Fareham, and will cost approximately £35m to build.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “Fareham has the highest proportion of over 85-year-olds in the UK so accommodation like Friary Meadow will help to supply much-needed housing for the older generation which has been strongly supported by the residents of Titchfield.”
Link to the Daily Echo article.
So that is North Fareham, Porchester, Warsash and now it looks like Titchfield is likely to have it's own problems along with Funtley (in the sidelines at the moment) and you really can't sideline Newlands, no matter what we are told. Until Welborne is sorted then virtually every major application for planning is either going to be approved straight off or will be the focus of an appeal.
With Stubbington By-pass exiting into the Titchfield gyratory an additional 400 cars trying to join the A27 from Titchfield is going to go down a treat. It will be like trying to get out of Gosport all over again.
Link to the Daily Echo article.
It makes you wonder, if Cranleigh Road, Brook Lane, Newlands and all of the other possible sites get passed because Welborne isn't ready, go to appeal and the developers win, will they knock these numbers off of Welborne or will we get all of the in-filling PLUS the 6,000 at Welborne?
I seem to remember a while ago that a certain senior councillor promised us that Welborne would mean NO more in-filling. It doesn't seem like that from here. Must have been in a dream, surely our councillors would not mislead us like this, would they?
Horrified country lovers could only look on as developers working on Bloor Homes, Crowdhill Green site pumped gallons of water from their overflowing and clearly inadequate bund onto a meadow rich with wildlife, including rare reptiles. The torrent of water which as one walker describes was like a raging river, tore into the Woodland Trust's Ancient woodland, Crowdhill Copse, washing away rare plants and undermining the roots of trees that have stood for decades. One upset nature lover remarked tearfully "I don't know how much wildlife has perished due to this, in the summer I saw various lizards and Roesel's Bush Crickets here" The Woodland Trust and Environment Agency have been notified and will be investigating. The sobering point here is that we have only had moderate rainfall and the development is causing this flooding. Imagine what will happen when we have heavy consistent rainfall. This site is only three hundred or so houses. Eastleigh Borough Council are minded to allow in excess of 6,000 here. This is high ground where there are many headwaters running into the river Itchen. Take a look at a flood map and its obvious to all but the most educated developers hydrologists that Bishopstoke and Fair Oak will suffer unprecedented major flooding.
This is a link to the Facebook page that it was published on - You don't need to have a Facebook account just to see the video.
Do you remember this article from January 2016? And then there was the video of Cllr Woodward, stating quite categorically that it wasn't PUSH but local councils that came up with the numbers and that PUSH just correlated them.
Well one thing is for sure, as our Council Leader is responsible for both organisations then he can ultimately be held responsible for the numbers. He really ought to make his mind up though which hat he wants to be wearing when he takes the blame.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about objecting to a planning proposal. Going in pitchforks blazing is definitely not an approach that’s going to yield satisfactory results.
Find out more in this fun and informative short film made for CPRE Shropshire by students from Harper Adams University.
If you like this CPRE video, why not share it with someone you know? Just send them this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iggS2Gm6EVc
The former Fareham Ambulance station in Stow Crescent, Fareham closed in May 2014 after the South Central Ambulance service cut the number of Ambulance stations across the county and moved Fareham services along with Gosport and Havant to South East Ambulance Service’s base to Cosham.
Councillor Peter Davies, Fareham council's ward councillor for Fareham North West has welcomed the plans.
"It’s brownfield site and most importantly, provides homes, which is what we badly need in North West Fareham.
We have to keep Fareham’s green spaces clear from development so to do that we need to fill up our brownfield sites."
Link to The Daily Echo article, ps the planning application hadn't been posted on FBC's website by the 5th February.
Interesting Document - Lastest 5 year land report from FBC. The 5 year land supply figure is important, it will play a pivotal part in the Cranleigh Road appeal, in fact any development appeal here in Fareham.
Calculations made by housing charity Shelter in 2015 suggested that, to afford a starter home with a 20% discount on the price in 2020, a typical buyer in England would still need an income of £50,000 and a deposit of £40,000. In London, someone would need an income of £77,000 and a deposit of £98,000, based on average lending ratios, according to Shelter's projections.
Roger Harding, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: "Efforts to build more homes are welcome, but these starter homes are only likely to benefit people who are better off and already close to buying. Sadly, they will do little to help the many millions of people on middle and low incomes who need somewhere genuinely affordable to buy or rent long term."
An article by Shelter in 2015 describes some of the problems associated with this phrase
HMG Press release.
The Government have set aside £1.2Bn for the Starter Homes Land Fund. A starter home is defined as
"Starter Homes are new homes built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of at least 20% below market value." I wonder how many Fareham residents will be able to afford any of these homes even at their massively discounted (subsidised) prices.
In their press release they have said
"In addition, the Homes and Communities Agency has also today issued a call seeking expressions of interest from local authorities who are interested in using their land to deliver homes at pace through the £1.7 billion Accelerated Construction recently announced. This will see up to 15,000 homes started on surplus public sector land this Parliament."
So far I have found the Accelerated Construction Scheme quoted as £1.7bn, £3bn, £5bn. So I am not sure which this scheme refers to but £1.7bn for 15,000 homes until 2020 means a figure of over £1,133,333 per dwelling so I guess that none of these will be starter homes.
Link to The News article
Link to a Daily Telegraph article
Eastleigh Council has approved the building of another development of 6,000 houses, the same size as Welborne. So that will be two new housing areas each equivalent in size to Petersfield that will be built in the small corner of South Hampshire between Winchester and Fareham. These two sites on their own will swallow about one eigth of the whole area on their own and then there are all of the other developments that are in the pipeline - another 6000 in Fareham and goodness know how many in Eastleigh, as they have no accepted development plan. Even in Fareham we can't be sure that 6000 is teh upper number, because Welborne is still struggling with no clear resolution in site yet, developers can almost certainly use the inadequate provision argument until something concrete (pun unintended) happens.