Join Inform Fareham button
  Road signs M27 Traffic queue Rape field 20 Thousand cars Funtley 10 Thousand houses


No longer will we see gliders overhead



Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre’s Board of Trustees and Directors met yesterday (Monday 30 Apr 18) to assess the viability of future operations at Daedalus airfield at Lee-on-the-Solent. It recently received Fareham Borough Council’s eviction order from its hangars; a new tenancy offer for land only; and sharply increased new tariffs and further flight restrictions imposed by the Daedalus airfield management, Regional and City Airports Ltd.
offered site offered site offered site
Facing increasing financial losses since FBC took ownership of the former Naval Air Station three years ago, PNGC’s Board decided that these latest demands no longer allow a viable, affordable future for gliding at the airfield. It will accordingly close later this month.

The club is an Armed Forces charity and able to continue sharing the running costs of the airfield and to remain cost-neutral to the local community, but RCA’s imposed restrictions on gliding reduce income substantially. This leaves sharply increased new charges for aircraft parking, hangars and flight operations well beyond the club’s means. PNGC understands the needs of the Council and RCA to maximise their incomes, but the latest demands further increase PNGC’s business losses, despite many efforts to stem these over the past 3 years.

The flight restrictions to gliding are understood not to have been imposed by aviation regulators or Authorities, while formal requests to FBC and RCA senior leaders to disclose their reasons, have not met with any response.

The Navy has also used it extensively to develop essential leadership and teamwork skills for its serving personnel, as well as aircrew recruitment at minimal cost to the public purse. MOD(Navy) also confirmed in writing late on Friday that the Fareham Council had declined its historical annual financial contribution to PNGC operations at Daedalus for its use of the amenity. That funding was accordingly now no longer available.

Following recent public opposition to the threats of closure, FBC offered an outdoors area without hangars or covered storage, but it was deemed unfit for aircraft to stand on safely and lacked the security of tenure needed for new site or buildings investment.

The closure of this amenity ends more than sixty years of gliding at the popular coastal site, which is open to all, and comes as a harsh penalty especially to people seeking to develop flying skills for careers in aviation in line with the Council’s approved ‘Vision’ for Daedalus and the objectives of the Local Enterprise Zone.

PNGC has appreciated the high levels of public support, and immensely enjoyed meeting and serving so many of the local community as well as Royal Navy personnel in the area over sixty or more years of operating at Daedalus. Hundreds, into thousands, of young people have benefited from the club and its volunteer instructors as an affordable means of entering successful military and civil aviation careers. Other regular users include youth groups, serving personnel of all three Armed Forces, City Livery Company charity beneficiaries and disabled or blind veterans whose remaining senses are stimulated by the feel of silent flight, even without the spectacular views. All PNGC members deeply regret the losses for these and the very many other people who would have benefited in future.

No alternative site has yet been identified and the club will close at Daedalus on 31 May 18




There has been a great deal of interest and speculation in the last few days about this matter.

When Fareham Borough Council took ownership of Daedalus in 2015, it set out its Vision for Daedalus to become a premier location for aviation, aerospace engineering and advanced manufacturing businesses, creating many skilled employment opportunities for local people, which is underpinned by a vibrant and sustainable airfield. That Vision was adopted by the Council following a public consultation which demonstrated a high level of public support. Previous proposals for the site were it lost to aviation have included gravel extraction followed by a major housing development.

In 2015 PNGC was one of several resident organisations enjoying full use of the airfield at very little cost. Recognising the need for a transitional period, the Council agreed special terms with PNGC in 2015, making it clear that these were interim arrangements as the Council continued with its investment programme and working towards the Vision.

For information in the past year based on the total number of flights, this has included unlimited flying for £33 per month per glider. This amounts to a cost of 28p per flight or, if all costs are taken into account including service charge (there was no charge made for rent) then £1.17 per flight. By comparison, PNGC’s accounts show they generated flight-related income of £12.32 per flight. They also generated a further £8,813 from sub-letting the rent-free hangar and have net assets of c.£428,000.

Temporary arrangements were also agreed with other existing tenants and since that time there has been regular, ongoing dialogue with all tenants about the Council’s plans for improvements.

Since acquiring the site, the Council has been absolutely transparent about its plans for growth that meet both the publicly supported Vision and meet the Solent Enterprise Zone objectives for the site of enabling the creation of 3,500 jobs.

Over the past three years, there has been a huge investment in Solent Airport. This includes several million pounds of taxpayers’ money spent on resurfacing the runway (without this the airfield would have closed in 2015) and building eleven new airside hangars on Faraday Business Park, demonstrating the Council’s commitment to preserving aviation at Daedalus. These new hangars were necessary because the tenants currently occupy dilapidated hangars on the area earmarked for redevelopment at Swordfish Business Park.

Now that the new hangars are ready, we have issued a notice to some of our tenants to bring the current temporary arrangements to an end and agree a long-term relationship with them on the site. With the exception of PNGC, we have made good progress towards agreeing terms with all other tenants affected. As far as we are aware, no others will be leaving.

Several options have been put forward to enable PNGC to remain at the airport. The Council has offered to meet with PNGC next week for further discussions about all aspects of their tenure, including safety concerns, one of which is use of a winch which has been discontinued from the end of March.

Regional & City Airports as Airport Manager has commented: “Given the significant increase in powered aircraft movements at the airport and the increasing quantity of Corporate and Air Taxi movements, both of which are now being attracted to Solent and will improve the financial performance of the airport for the ratepayer, ground movements for aircraft taxiing to and from the runway are increasing. An additional taxiway route is being opened to the runway along existing but currently disused pavements and the use of glider winch launches is not compatible with this new route, nor the increasing level of aircraft movements.

“In addition, Solent is the only licenced airfield in the United Kingdom that permits glider winch launch as well as powered movements and this was agreed by the CAA on a trial based on overall traffic levels. The CAA has requested the airport to review the current operations in light of increased powered aircraft activity and incompatibility between gliders and high levels of powered movements.”

Farewell to Daedalus gliders


Gliders at restGlider waiting for launch

From a thread found on the Fareham - Do we have a say? - The Big Debate

As you may or may not be aware Fareham Borough Council are currently trying to commercialise Daedalus airfield, much to the expense of local and charitable flying clubs such as Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre (PNGC) of which I am a regular member. Despite the name, the centre is open to membership from civilians as well as service personnel – with the split being roughly 50-50.

FBC has served eviction notices for PNGC’s hangar and clubhouse for 31 May – and is asking for rent to be paid at a newly built hangar – which as a charity we can simply not afford nor make viable. Countless young people such as myself have made use of the facilities. It's enabled many youth members to grow as a person, whilst developing necessary life skills. It is an asset to the local community.

FBC has restricted our operations, ceasing winch launching – which was the cheapest and easiest way of achieving the charitable aims of the organisation. They put this down to ‘Safety issues’, and the ‘CAA Airfield License’ being put into jeopardy. Despite their claim, the Civil Aviation Authority has not said anything of the sort. They have also forced the charity to buy fuel exclusively from them, despite us having a cheaper source available. This loss of income plus increased expenditure and increased hangarage costs makes PNGC unsustainable – and would go bankrupt quickly.

Unfortunately, gliding does not fit in with FBC’s vision of a commercial airport, or a business airport hub. It isn’t just PNGC that are facing this dilemma either- other operators have already left the field as they could not afford the excessive rent FBC was demanding for a new hangar. I am sure the majority of Stubbington residents do not want a quiet general aviation airfield to turn into a commercial or business jet field – even if there was a demand for it (Southampton and Farnborough are much better placed) and all the extra traffic this would bring to our already crowded peninsula. Meanwhile gliding is practically silent and eco-friendly.

I am not asking for money, simply your time to write or email to the local borough councillors. The more people who write – the better chance we have to keep this wonderful charity alive which does so much for young people.

The local councillors for Stubbington and Hill Head are:
Cllr. Jim Forrest:
Cllr. Carolyn Heneghan:
Hill Head:
Cllr. Kay Mandry:
Cllr. Arthur Mandry:
And of course:
Cllr. Sean Woodward:

Thank you for taking the time to read, and for your support to keep the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre alive at Daedalus.


Farewell to winch launches


glider on winch

It says for safety reasons which I guess is quite correct, but so unfortunate that gliding at Daedalus has now become the prerogative of the rich. Whereas most people that wanted to try gliding at one time could probably have afforded a trial flight, at £70 per launch they are almost certainly going to cry off now. It is such a wonderful feeling up there, quietly at peace with the world. Hardly any pollution from the launch but from April, as only air tugs will be able to be used all of that extra CO2.
Ah well, I suppose that history must give way to development but is it always such a good thing? The only saving grace surely is that while Daedalus is being developed for industry, it can't be used for EVEN MORE HOUSES

Link to an article in The News


Maybe Daedalus won't be the next national airport


Air Alderney aircraft There was sudden flurry a few weeks ago, led I believe, by our Executive Leader about how Daedalus was to have a new, daily service to the Channel Islands. Sounded really good but I did wonder at the time how the roads could cope with this added burden and would travellers be prepared to spend longer getting from the M27 to the airport than the actual flight would take.

It would seem that life isn't quite that cut and dried and it could still all fall through. Perhaps people that start these rumours ought to be a little bit more circumspect, especially as the powers that control such matters aren't even considering making a route application yet.

It would be nice for Daedalus if it did happen but we must wait and see what the final outcome will be and whether or not there will need to be a few carrots dangled by the airfield's owners. After all that is the way that I believe Michael O'Leary helped to make his pile.

Link to article in The Echo


Did they or didn't they make an agreement?


Just a copy of a letter from the Department for Communities and Local Government

Letter from the Department for Communities and Local Government

Just proves that verbal agreements aren't worth anything - there should have been a paper trail.


Reply from our Executive Leader


As promised my answers in full from Sean Woodward regarding the IFA. I will put my private thoughts on another post later today.

Thank you for your letter received on the 16th August regarding the above planning permission.

For ease of reference I will respond to the 17 points you raise in the order you have raised them.

1) I believe that all the reports, evidence and associated documents relied upon for making the decision on the planning application have been made available for public viewing.

2) The land at Chilling was open fields within an area of countryside very close to the coast. Hampshire County Council decided that it did not wish to sell its land at Chilling to National Grid to allow for the construction of a converter station. The reason given for this was that the converter station ‘would have a highly detrimental effect and impact on what is a beautiful and unspoilt area of coastline designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA)’. In contrast the site at Daedalus forms part of a very large employment area and Enterprise Zone and physically adjoins land which currently enjoys planning permission for the construction of substantial industrial buildings.

3) In deciding a planning application of this type and scale the Planning Committee were required to ‘weigh up’ a large number of considerations- these are set out throughout the Planning Officers report and concluded at pages 55-57 of the report under ‘Other Material Planning Considerations and the Planning Balance’ . In their report to the Planning Committee, Officers did indeed state that ‘the importance of the facility as a piece of national infrastructure along with the size and locational requirements of the proposal and the applicants endeavours to date, are significant material planning considerations which weigh heavily in favour of the proposal notwithstanding the conflict with Policies CS12 and CS14 of the adopted Core Strategy.

4) The intention is that substantial landscaping will be undertaken an early stage, which will establish and increase in height over time. As the landscaping establishes it will soften the appearance of the buildings, but it is acknowledged that the planting will never completely ‘hide’ the buildings.

5) Whilst the converter station comprises a number of substantial buildings, they will be seen in the context of a large employment area. The converter station physically adjoins land where planning permission has been granted for substantial industrial buildings. Taking into account the development immediately adjacent to the converter station and the substantial planting which will be undertaken, the impact upon the wider landscape character was not considered significant by the Planning Committee.

6) The Planning Officers report advised Members of the Planning Committee what weight they could attach to Fareham Borough Council’s Daedalus Vision and Outline Strategy in making a decision on the planning application. Notwithstanding that advice, the decision to grant planning permission for the converter station was not inconsistent with the Daedalus Vision and Outline Strategy.

7) Part of the converter station site is on land which has previously been identified for public open space. Whilst the land had the benefit of planning permission to be used as public open space the land has not yet been made available for that purpose. To address this particular aspect the planning application proposed an area of public open space running across the northern edge of the Daedalus. The area of open space was larger than that previously approved, and provides a link from Stubbington right the way through to Broom Way. The open space proposed as part of the IFA2 project was judged by the Planning Committee to be better in a number of ways to that previously permitted.
I must say I don’t understand your reference that this ‘could be looked at as a commercial bribe’. The local plan policy for Daedalus sought to secure ‘open space accessible to residents particularly those of Stubbington and Hill Head’ (Policy CS12 of the Fareham Borough Core Strategy). The Planning Committee were advised that the National Grid’s planning application proposed a larger area of open space which linked better to Stubbington than that previously permitted. Therefore in planning terms it met the aims of the planning policy in securing accessible open space to local residents. As Fareham Borough Council is required to consider each planning application on its merits I don’t believe this decision sets a precedent.

8} The options for providing additional allotments in the Stubbington and Hill Head area to address the 70+ local people wishing to have allotments will be brought to the Executive in October following extensive consultation. There are a number of sites under consideration including Stroud Green Lane.

9) The issues of magnetic fields and human health are dealt with at pages 39-41 of the report under health implications. Public Health England were consulted on the application and confirmed that in light of the exposure levels detailed, they did not consider the cables would give rise to any human health concerns. The applicant’s report submitted in August last year which assessed the potential effects of magnetic fields at the beach can be viewed on the Council’s website here.

10) The limit of 10 microteslas was set solely to address concerns that certain systems/ compasses on aircraft may be affected as aircraft ‘taxi’ over cables. National and International guidance set out at pages 39-41 of the report, explain the exposure levels below which human health will not be harmed

11. 12. 13. and 14) The potential impact arising from construction work is not grounds for refusing a planning application. Planning conditions have been attached to the planning application to minimise the effects where possible. The Highway Authority was satisfied that Newgate Lane could accommodate the small increase in traffic during the construction period.
Conditions attached to the planning permission require details of construction lorry routes to be submitted and approved by Fareham Borough Council in advance of development commencing. The applicant has previously advised construction vehicle routeing between the M27 and the site, would be via M27 Junction 11,Eastern Way (A27 Gosport Road to A32 Quay Street Roundabout), A32 Gosport Road, B3385 (Newgate Lane to Peel Common Roundabout) and Broom Way. If it came to light that the approved construction route was not being adhered to this would be raised with the National Grid who would be expected to address it immediately.
In terms of Abnormal Indivisible Loads (AIL), I am not aware that a precise number has been provided by National Grid at present. National grid recognised that AILs are likely to need to take place at that times of the day which would not unacceptably impact upon the highway network.

15) Requests to make exceptions to working hours need to be made in advance to Fareham Borough Council’s Development Management service. Should works be undertaken outside the agreed working hours without approval, I have no doubt that residents would let us know and we in turn would ask National Grid to address this immediately.

16) National Grid is adamant that the converter buildings will be designed to prevent any noise nuisance to residential properties. Conditions attached to the planning permission state that the noise ‘emitted from the converter station buildings shall not exceed whichever is the greater of the existing background noise level or 30dB(A) when measured at the boundaries of any surrounding residential properties.’ Before development commences details have to be submitted to and approved by Fareham Borough Council showing how the buildings will be designed and any external plant attenuated to control noise emissions. Once the converter station buildings have been bought into use, National Grid are required to undertake noise monitoring for a period of 6 months (in accordance with an approved monitoring scheme) and provide the results to Fareham Borough Council. I would hope that with all these safeguards in place that noise nuisance should not be experienced by any local residents in their properties once the converter station is operational.

17) A condition of the planning permission requires the alternating and direct current magnetic fields to be measured at the points where the cables run beneath taxi-way crossing on the airfield. More specifically the condition requires that the following is achieved : a) Alternating Current magnetic fields directly above the cables not more than 10 microteslas when measured at ground level at each taxi-way crossing of the cables; b) Direct Current magnetic fields directly above the cables not more than 10 microteslas when measured 1.5 metres above ground level at each taxi-way crossing of the cables; c) Compass deviation not more than 1 degree when 12 metres or more away from the Direct Current cables, measured at 1.5m above ground level at each taxi-way crossing of the cables.

These requirements seek to ensure that the use of the cables will not in any way affect aviation use and safety at the site. Measurements of the magnetic fields at these locations are required to be undertaken by a competent person and submitted to Fareham Borough Council within one month of the converter station being bought into use. The measurements required to be submitted to Fareham Borough Council to satisfy the planning condition will be made public.

I am aware that the National Grid is undertaking substantial work to ensure that it will meet the requirements of the planning conditions in terms of the magnetic fields where the cables pass beneath the taxiways. This includes measuring the magnetic fields above cables at a number of existing sites around the country. The configuration and depth of the cables at Daedalus will also be carefully designed to ensure the magnetic fields requirements are met. As the size and strength of the magnetic fields can be scientifically calculated in advance, National Grid is certain it will meet the requirements of this planning condition.

Quite apart from the Planning Committee's deliberations I have been absolutely clear throughout the process of consideration of National Grid's proposals by the Council as landlord that we will not allow anything to happen at Daedalus which will adversely affect airfield operations or the Solent Enterprise Zone. Why would we? The Council is making a very substantial investment in the site of approaching £50m over the life of the Zone with the aim of enabling the creation of over 3,000 jobs. Our first act on taking ownership was to resurface the runway without which flying would have ceased entirely two years ago. Why would we jeopardise that? It is for that reason that I asked National Grid to agree to conduct real life tests at the airfield using the appropriate current in cables with the aircraft systems which are of concern. National Grid readily agreed to my request. Those tests are open to be viewed by all interested parties. If there is an issue in the future then the lease contains a "lift and shift" clause on the cables as well as money that can be drawn down for any proven mitigation required.

We need to be certain that there are no emanations from the converter station that would adversely affect local residents be that heat, light, sound or radiation. If there should be then ultimately the Council's Environmental Health powers are draconian.

I hope my responses are helpful.

Best wishes

Councillor Seán D T Woodward


Questions to our Executive Leader


A Stubbington resident recently attempted to contact Cllr. Woodward for clarification of various points that he has concerns about after the recent CAT meeting about the IFA2 Connector. This is a copy of his questions:

As promised please see below my questions sent to Sean Woodward last night. I will publish his answers once I have them. My email contained a thank you for taking the time to read and hopefully answer my questions. Also a statement of my private views and concerns. I have removed these to just supply my questions.

  1. The public document pack provided implies that there are other “non” public documents. Is this correct and ae they available for public viewing?
  2. Page 21 Paragraph 7 If HCC did not support this convertor station why has FBC supported this form of Building so close to a active airport and residential areas.
  3. Page 23 Paragraph 5 This implies that the Officers (planning) are heavily in favour of the proposal despite it contradicting polices CS12 and CS14.
  4. Page 24 Paragraph 7 States that after 15 years (2035) the planting will hide the visual impact of the building. Is this a acceptable timeframe for this visual impact to reduced?
  5. Page 25 Paragraph 1 This states that the IFA landscape character would not be significant. The reduced footprint provided in the new planning application despite it’s reduction can hardly be called insignificant.
  6. Page 27 Paragraph 7 This effectively states that that FBC’s Daedulas Vision and outline Strategy is not a planning document and therefore in simple language is irrelevant with regards to planning. Whilst this maybe true it should still be considered as part of the whole picture for the Daedalus site.
  7. Page 28 Paragraph 1 This basically states that despite the IFA being built on designated open space. As long as another area is changed to open area it will be funded by compensatory provision. This implies that if permission is granted we will pay the council a sum to “change the rules”. This could be looked as a commercial bribe, whilst I understand how this works it is a potentially giving the message that if a compensatory provision given for any future planning application this would be acceptable. Is this setting a precedence?
  8. Page 29 Paragraph 3 This details the removal of the allotment site and it being moved to arable land off the Daedalus site and adjacent to the by pass route. This is the first documented statement on this I have found. How will this proposal impact the proposed Stroud Lane allotment application?
  9. Page 30 Paragraph 2 This states that magnetic fields are negligible at 40 metres. As the cables in the beach and road area are going to be buried only 2 metres below the ground, has any study been conducted as to the long term reaction of humans inside this magnetic field. I would think this would be very important to those who run the Shack Kiosk on the beach area
  10. Page 32 Paragraph 7 Why is the magnetic field below 10 micro teslas not being implemented in the road and beach are? Who will carryout measurements of the magnetic fields in these areas and will this be available for public viewing
  11. Page 37 Paragraph 2 Can FBC confirm and guarantee that construction traffic will not pass through Stubbington Village. If it does how will enforce this and what penalty will be carried out?
  12. Page 37 Paragraph 3 This states that a extra 61 vehicles per day (in 2018) of which 25 are HGV will pass through Newgate lane daily (5.5 days per week). Can this road truthfully cope with this increased load? If my understanding is correct the by-pass construction will have stated and Gosport road will be closed for 9 months with the diversion down Newgate Lane. Was during the traffic modelling this taken into account?
  13. Page 37 Paragraph 4 Abnormal Indivisable loads (AIL), presumably these will navigate Newgate lane. The reality is this will close Newgate Lane for a period of time. Was this taken into account as per my question 12 above? How many AIL are there?
  14. Page 39 Paragraph 1 This states that there is capability within the highway and local network. Please can you clarify this with regard to questions 12 & 13 above.
  15. Page 42 Paragraph 6 Who will agree to exceptions to working hours? How will this be monitored? Will this be on a case by case basis?
    As I write this I have lost the link to the original document.
  16. There is reference to the the harmonic hum being fixed at less than 30db at the nearest residential homes. These being the two on Gosport road and the ones on the Peal Common roundabout. Who will take these original levels? How will they be enforced? Will this be by noise abatement order? If the ownership of the above properties were to become under the National Grid would the 30db level be moved or remain with the original property. As you aware this issue is about time and distance.
  17. At the CAT meeting on 24th July 2017 Question 20 refers to testing on the ENF fields one the cables are installed. Who will carryout this testing? Will the results be made public? What happens if the cables fails the safe levels?


Was there a verbal agreement?


Even the BBC seem to have got hold of the same story as Private Eye did. All we have to refute this is Cllr. Woodward's word. So was there a non-traceable, verbal agreement with HMG. I guess that we will never know for sure but at the moment it seems to be three against one.

 BBC News article
 Daily Echo article


Private Eye


People seem to think that this publication is just a joke but it is amazing how many times an article that they first publish turns out to be true and then runs nationally. To see the original article click on the relevant image. I have contacted the magazine's editorial department and they have given me their express permission to transcribe the text purely to make it slightly easier to read.

 An article from the  Private Eye magazine issue no 1430.
Reproduced by kind permission of PRIVATE EYE magazine

Private Eye article

Keeping the lights on

THE crackbrained Hinkley nuclear project (start-date potentially as late as 2033, see Eye1413) does nothing to address the practical challenge of keeping the lights on – an issue in France as well as the UK.

Both countries already need to import electricity at various times in the year. In France, it is during summer heatwaves when river water becomes too warm to cool inland nuclear power plants, and they shut down. Here, it is particularly in winter, with our “capacity margin” now close to zero (Eyes passim). Both countries depend increasingly on cross-channel “interconnectors” to balance shortages and surpluses: indeed, National Grid and its French counterpart RTE say we need more of these big two-way power cables. But their latest scheme is causing havoc in Hampshire, with talk of payments to a local council to lubricate NG’s contentious plan, similar to those paid in France.

The next interconnector will run between Bellengreville in Normandy, and somewhere in Hampshire. But where? NG’s ideal landfall would be rural Chilling, on the Solent shoreline, where there is already an entry-point to the grid and plenty of open land for the required “converter station”, a massive 72ft high building with a 10-acre footprint. The county council, however, has rejected siting the converter there.

Step forward nearby Fareham borough council which owns Daedalus, a small airfield used for light aircraft and surrounded by housing. In return for millions in lease payments, plus an upfront lump sum reputedly of £10m, the council has allocated land at Daedalus for NG’s converter, a mere 240 metres from houses.

The behemoth will emit a constant electrical hum of 30 decibels or more. Locals are also concerned about its acknowledged magnetic fields and radio-wave emissions, and opposition is strong. All similar converters in the UK are in industrial areas or, like the rejected Chilling site, open countryside. Even ignoring the extra bung, building such a converter in a residential area will be a costly first, with extensive landscaping needed to hide the monstrosity and reduce noise pollution. But NG, which is entitled to a guaranteed rate of return on projects of this kind(Eye 1281), has little incentive to worry about the cost. The planning application is being decided by Fareham council. Payments to councils are how local objections to big power projects in France are “managed”. And now NG is evidently keen to import French practices along with French electricity.

‘Old Sparky’

 An article from the  Private Eye magazine issue no 1446.
Reproduced by kind permission of PRIVATE EYE magazine

Private Eye article

Keeping the lights on

MORE on the monolithic electricity project that is looming over the horizon in residential Hampshire (see Eye 1430).

Despite huge opposition, Fareham council has bypassed the usual procedures and awarded outline planning permission for a monster electricity “converter station” to be built on a site surrounded by housing. This is handy for the council because it owns the land and stands to gain tens of millions from leasing and other fees.

The converter, 72 feet high with a 10-acrefootprint and just 260 yards from the nearest homes, will be at the UK end of a new import-export electricity “interconnector” from France. Other converters around the country are either on industrial sites or in open countryside.

Because the council has such a clear vested interest in the project going ahead, it had been expected the matter would be “called in” by local government minister Sajid Javid for the decision to be made in Whitehall. Fareham’s pre-emptive grant of planning permission was a surprise to almost everyone, including the government’s National Planning Casework Unit, which handles such contentious matters. There had been a “gentlemen’s agreement”, the unit told angry locals, that the council would not go ahead until the minister had decided whether or not to call in the application.

Fareham residents hope that the continuing problems with France’s nuclear power sector(Eyes passim) and president Emmanuel Macron’s determination to close a third of it by2025 might mean the end of electricity imports from France and hence no need for the newinter connector. But this will not help their cause .If anything, reduced generating capacity in France will result in even more use for the cross-channel cables, which can rapidly switch the direction of electricity flow and are at their most useful when supply and demand are most finely balanced in the grid systems at either end. And that will be the future, both here and in France.

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.

‘Old Sparky’

 An article from the  Private Eye magazine issue no 1450.

Private Eye article

Fareham Scarum

THE National Grid continues with its highly contentious plan to build a monster electricity “converter station” on a Hampshire site surrounded by housing and local industry (Eyes 1430) — hand in hand with Fareham council which owns the land and stands to gain tens of millions from leasing and other fees.

The govemment seems lamely resigned to Fareham getting away with its self-interested sleight of hand in by-passing Whitehall when it approved the planning application. But there is still one flaw in the scheme that may bite it in the bum.

Causes for widespread local dissatisfaction are several. Councillors from neighbouring Gosport, whose residents could be more affected than those in Fareham itself, have been debarred from speaking at planning meetings organised by Fareham. Disdainful Fareham council leader Sean Woodward charmed residents last month by declaring that the “most important” consideration was that the council's commercial tenants nearest to the planned site were satisfied with safety aspects.

Responding to claims that Fareham improperly cut ministers out of the planning process, Woodward is dismissive: “There is no grumpy minister out there,” he says. Not so: minister for local growth Jake Berry is distinctly peeved. “An agreement was reached that the council would not issue planning permission. .. while the application was still under consideration by the secretary of state,” he writes. But Fareham went ahead anyway — so what is Berry doing about it? “I have expressed my disappointment to the council and sought assurances this will not occur again.”

Woodward thinks he understands this lame response. Ministers would need to stump up £500m in compensation, he chortles, if they intervene now: the Grid had already awarded big construction contracts before outline planning permission was finalised (Eye 1446).

There may still be a “Gosport Gotcha” for the Grid, however. The logical site for the converter is without doubt four miles away in open fields at Chilling, a major access point to the National Grid where electricity to and from the new converter will always flow in any case, wherever it is located. Chilling, with none of the extensive modifications required for building in a built-up area like Fareham, would be substantially cheaper and could be pursued using compulsory purchase of land.

The Grid is only allowed to recover costs . from electricity users if they are approved as ‘necessary” by regulator Ofgem. Will Ofgem now stir itself on behalf of the public, and call the Grid out on its needlessly expensive siting of the converter? With a govemment in permanently supine mode these days, it may be residents’ only chance.

‘Old Sparky’


Information - Question - Daedalus


  1. Will the Executive Leader advise what the Council’s financial expenditure has been at Daedalus since it took it over, this to be broken down as below:

    1. Total expenditure by the Council to date?
    2. What the above expenditure has been spent on?
    3. Where has the expenditure money come from, ie, from Council Balances or Borrowing and how much from each?
    4. If borrowed, what is the interest rate and over what period of time?
    5. What are the expenditures at Daedalus expected to be over the next three years?
    6. What is the income from the various projects expected to be each year?
    7. How long is it expected that it will take to either re pay the loans or replenish the Council’s balances?
    8. After all monies are repaid and balance replenished, what will the annual income be from Daedalus?

    Responses by the Executive Leader:

    The Council has spent an estimated £2.3 million on operating costs in the two years since it took ownership at Daedalus. All this cost has been funded by income generated at the airfield or from the grant secured from Government.

    In the same period, £1.1 million of capital has been incurred, most of which relates to the planning and design for the hangar project, services on Swordfish business park and the Innovation Centre extension. In the preceding year, the Council invested a further £6.5 million into the runway resurfacing and the construction of the Innovation Centre.

    The financial arrangements are complex and vary according to the nature of the expenditure incurred. However, in simple terms, the airfield costs are partly met from airfield income, which comes from landing fees, parking fees, hangarage rents and other services. The balance of day to day operating costs are then recoverable from tenants on the airfield under a service charge regime. The same arrangement applies to day to day operating costs for the non-airside estate.

    Costs such as grounds maintenance and security are recoverable from all Daedalus tenants. Finally, net income generated from the Innovation Centre is used to meet the first-year costs and then contributes to the overall running costs of the site.

    While the airfield site is under development, the unoccupied element of the estate management costs are met by the Council as landlord, which is why it is important that the development plots are marketed for new businesses. Faraday Business Park is being actively marketed and there is a strong level of interest from investors/tenants. In the meantime, the Council has grant funding to meet the running costs of the airfield in the early years. To date, all net operating costs have been funded from the grant funding that was secured.

    No operating costs have been funded from borrowing, and no funding has come from borrowing, to date.

    It is anticipated that all the running costs for the next 3 years will either be recovered through income generation, service charges, property rents and any balance from the Government grant that the Council secured.

    The latest estimate of capital investment for Daedalus over the next 5 years amounts to £27.6 million and full details were published in the Council’s capital programme in February 2017.

    Income from the various projects is largely commercially sensitive, but in general terms
    • Income from the Innovation Centre extension will be generated from rents, room bookings and services;
    • Income from Hangars is generated from rents and service charges;
    • Infrastructure investment at Swordfish Business Park is generated from rates growth and lease premiums;
    • Airfield improvements are expected to generate direct income (e.g. from fuel sales), and indirect airside income growth from making the airport more attractive to visitors and aviation businesses.
    For each scheme where the Council is investing to generate a financial return, a financial appraisal has been prepared and presented to the Executive. Examples are the Business and General Aviation Hangar Schemes, the Swordfish infrastructure and the Innovation Centre extension. The schemes have estimated payback periods of between 14 and 21 years, which are significantly shorter than the estimated useful lives of the assets concerned.

    Finally, the Council acquired the site at Daedalus to secure the asset for the Borough and ensure it was developed appropriately. All capital investment proposals are financially appraised to ensure that they represent a sound investment with an acceptable payback period. Collectively, over £18 million of external funding has been attracted by this Council alone, on projects that it is delivering against. Many tens of millions more has been secured in conjunction with partners such as the Homes and Communities Agency, Hampshire County Council and Solent LEP (including grant packages, on and offsite highways works, remediation costs, etc.). The Site wasn’t acquired to make profit.

  2. Executive Leader's Announcement at Council on 27th July 2017


The Executive Leader announced that the application made by the MP for Gosport to have the planning consents for the IFA2 development revoked by the Secretary of State, despite having been properly determined by this Council in January and issued following the section 106 agreement in April, has today, as expected, been rejected by the Secretary of State.

The Executive Leader stated that the detailed applications for the interconnector buildings and 45 acres of public open space were received last week. Fareham Borough Council held a special CAT meeting in Holy Rood Church in Stubbington on Monday which had been attended by over 200 residents who were encouraged to respond to the public consultation on the applications.

The Executive Leader stated that it was regrettable that in his letter refusing to revoke the planning application, the Minister alleges that there was some agreement between Fareham Borough Council and his officials not to issue the earlier planning consents without prior notification of the Council’s intention to do so. That statement is not true and the Executive Leader stated that he had been advised by the Chief Executive Officer that there was no such agreement, verbal or otherwise. The letter states that the Minister has written to the Council on the matter however the Executive Leader affirmed that he has not.

Shaun Cunningham


Daedalus - The film star


Several aerial scenes for the film Dunkirk, due for release on July 21, were filmed at HMS Daedalus at Lee-on-Solent.

Councillor Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “HMS Daedalus is a fantastic filming location and puts us in a strong position.

“There is no other Hampshire council in Southern England that can offer this kind of facility and we welcome any future proposals that can help to boast Solent Airport and Fareham.

(Sorry about that but an article about Daedalus wouldn't be the same without Cllr. Woodward's name appearing in it).

 Link to the Daily Echo article


Marine licence granted for IFA2


The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has granted consent for the interconnector’s cables to connect between France to the expected 22m-high converter station to the north of Daedalus airfield and out to the National Grid’s existing compound at Chilling. It looks as if the next step is to decide how they are going to get the cables from the shore line to the intended site.

The intention is to start building the facility in 2018. I wonder if they will finish the heavy lorry movements before the Stubbington By-pass is finished. If they do it will at least save wearing out our nice new road as quickly although Newgate Lane is likely to get a hammering. Come to that, I wonder if this will be taking place at the same time as Newgate Lane South and the by-pass are being built, now that should cause some interesting logistical problems for the contractors and even more for local residents.

The News iconLink to The News article


300 New jobs for Gosport residents


Do you remember how Daedalus was supposed to provide employment for Gosport residents to save them having to trek up and down the A32 thus saving time, frustration, pollution and all of the other benefits of local employment.

I wonder how many of these 300 new jobs will go to non-commuters?

The News iconLink to The News article


IFA2 Planning meeting 23-01-2017


The committee meeting took place in the main theatre at Ferneham Hall, it was extremely difficult to try and count the attendees but at a guess, along with some input from FH staff, we estinmated about 250 or so were in the audience. You know, it would have been much easier if this meeting had been run backwards. It would seem that the outcome was pre-ordained and nothing was going to change that. Excellent presentations were made by ALL of the delegates.

Interestingly there was an ex-planning committe chairman from Gosport Council there, both he and Caroline Dinenage MP both said that they had NEVER come across a planning application that had caused so much correspondence objecting to a plan, didn't seem to phase most of our councillors though. Quote from Gosport's Councillor Philpott "We won the public's vote on this but lost the political vote".

As the meeting progressed the arguments put forward by the only councillor qualified as a pilot that flys from Daedalus seemed to be virtually ignored. Admittedly it was very technical stuff and from where I was standing, seemed to baffle most of the non-technically minded people. They just seemed to rely on the reports that had been submitted and ignored anything that might have conflicted with them. Let's just hope that if magnetic compass deviation or wind shear created by the scale of the buildings does, in fact, cause an air accident, that those responsible for granting this application can be held responsible. It certainly won't be for the lack of warning that such an event might occur.

Other than that we must let the videos speak for themselves.

And the latest is in the The News iconLink to The News article

The News icon The News tonight as campaigners pledge to carry on the fight.


Background information for IFA2 meeting on Monday


FBC icon  Powerpoint slides used at previous presentations.

IFA2 Elevations

The link below gives a good idea what the impact will be on the landscape. This is a very technical application with many questions to be answered. If you are 'For or Against' the application come along and have a listen.

And to save any searching of previous entries FBC icon here is the link for the full planning application


Britten-Norman continue to object to plans for IFA2 interconnector


It looks as if the report prepared by the expert consultants hasn't allayed the fears of one of Daedalus's current tenants. Britten-Norman is of the opinion that
"‘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.’"
Which from what I can remember has been said by various people throughout the IFA2 process. No site like this has ever been attempted anywhere else in the country and even experts can be wrong.

I just wonder, if this plan goes ahead and if an air accident is seen to be caused by this development in the future, will the victims and/or their families be able to sue those personally responsible for making the decision?

The News icon Link to The News article


IFA2 Planning applicaton


Well here is the application for the meeting on the 23rd January - all 90 pages of it.

From a quick scan through the document, bearing in mind that in no way am I competent to comment on the technical side of matters the first item of interest that I found was that there are 10 points in support and 1,134 or 7 1/2 pages of objections. Admittedly ony 155 of these are from FBC residents, by far the majority of them come from Gosport which I would suggest is to be expected.


Comments have been received that the presence of the converter station buildings at Daedalus may discourage businesses from locating to the Solent Enterprise Zone.

Discussions with local agents, LEPs and other enterprise zones indicate that the most likely issue would be the perception of impacts on staff, health and electrical/sensitive equipment. The impact is likely to be greater on investors than occupiers and IFA2 may influence a company decision to relocate to Daedalus.

Does this mean that it will have an adverse effect on FBC's ability to lease land that we own even though there will be short term mitigation of some adverse points effectively by a cash donation?


Notwithstanding the fact that there is no statutory requirement for this Council to refer the application to the SoS, the National Planning Casework Unit (NPCU), on behalf of the SoS, has advised this Council that a call in request has been received. The NPCU has requested that Fareham Borough Council advise it of the Planning Committee date and provide a copy of the Planning Officer‟s report; Officers can confirm that this has been done. The NPCU on behalf of the SoS will come to a view as to whether or not this application should be called-in for a decision.

So what with the French connection and this referral the planning meeting may still not be the end of this part of the story.

FBC icon Link to the planning application


IFA2 Planning meeting called


FBC have called a special planning meeting to discuss the IFA2 proposals at Daedalus. After the independent enquiry found no problem with the installation, even though such a facility has never been built, the council are giving us an opportunity to 'have our say'. The meeting will take place on 23rd January at 10:00am in Ferneham Hall.

Unfortunately only the unemployed, retired or those on night shift will be able to attend without arranging time off work. Shame really as it is precisely these people that the development will affect the most. The only place that it seems to have been advertised in so far appears to be The News. It will be interesting to see how FBC will let local residents know of this meeting.

Those that are looking to speak at the meeting should make arrangements with the council’s democratic services team by no later than 12pm on Wednesday, January 18. The team can be contacted by calling 01329 824598 and asking for a form or by visiting the council’s website at FBC icon Unfortunately I can't find the exact page to go to. If somebody finds it and lets me know I shall modify this link.
The News icon Link to The News article

FBC icon Link to FBC's IFA2 presentation


Could IFA2 still have more hurdles to jump


Quotes from The News article "..., energy consultant Clive Moffatt told The Times that the plan had been thrown into doubt due to ‘definite uncertainty’ over how Brexit would affect the cost of importing or exporting electricity."

"Fareham’s council leader Sean Woodward said the plans were still on track, and they would be going to the council’s planning committee next month.

He said: ‘There is absolutely nothing in this at all. There are regulatory processes being followed in France, but that is all.’ "

I wonder if his comment may possibly be as relevant as the one about the Stubbington By-pass being funded "within the next week"?

The News icon Link to The News article


Inform Fareham Focus Group   

Follow Inform Fareham on Facebookacebook Join Inform Fareham now Watch videos about local governance

Sitemap & Page Revisions.   Terms of Use.   Privacy