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The Local Plan WILL affect us all

15-02-2018

The planning documents within the Local Plan set out the local planning authority’s policies and proposals for building and land use over the next 15 years or so, however, the end date of a local plan review is largely immaterial due to the fact a Local Plan will be reviewed well before the end date.

The Local Plan could affect you in a number of ways, where you live, work, shop, recreation - if there’s any green space left of course - and how you get around. If you are interested in your area, street, or you own property, then a Local Plan review will almost certainly be relevant to you. You should take every available opportunity to influence what it says. The earlier you get involved the better, there is a health warning though!

For many people, the first time they come across proposals of a Draft Local Plan and the planning policies within it is when they hear chatter on social media. The local press may be brave and run an authoritative news article or the Council through their slick public relations team will undoubtedly spin a tale.

The planning process is predominantly conducted away from the eyes of the public and therefore transparency becomes important.

All too often residents feel their input into any consultation with regard to a Local Plan, whether negative or positive, is futile because decisions have already been taken months before a consultation is opened and to have any chance of influencing the fine detail of a proposal becomes a monumental task. However we live in a democracy, not sure whether that is with a capital ‘D’ or a small 'd' and therefore we must at least try to sway thought patterns.

The current time frame for the various stages of the Review of the Local Plan is:

  • Autumn 2017 Consultation on Draft Plan - First Stage
  • Summer 2018 Consultation on Publication Plan - 2nd Stage
  • Autumn 2018 Submission of Plan to Secretary of State
  • Winter 2018/19 Examination - 3rd Stage
  • Summer 2019 Adoption - 4th Stage


Regulations

The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012

Regulation 18 - Preparation of a local plan - First Stage


Preparation of a local plan

18.— (1) A local planning authority must —

  1. notify each of the bodies or persons specified in paragraph (2) of the subject of a local plan which the local planning authority propose to prepare, and
  2. invite each of them to make representations to the local planning authority about what a local plan with that subject ought to contain.

(2) The bodies or persons referred to in paragraph (1) are —

  1. such of the specific consultation bodies as the local planning authority consider may have an interest in the subject of the proposed local plan;
  2. such of the general consultation bodies as the local planning authority consider appropriate; and
  3. such residents or other persons carrying on business in the local planning authority’s area from which the local planning authority consider it appropriate to invite representations.

(3) In preparing the local plan, the local planning authority must take into account any representation made to them in response to invitations under paragraph (1).

This stage is now more or less complete. Reg 18 is where residents submit their thoughts on the Draft Local Plan plan proposals. Should be the process where a number of different policy options are explored, sadly the Council felt that was unnecessary and put forward their preferred option only.



Regulation 19 - Preparation of a local plan - First Stage


Publication of a local plan

19. Before submitting a local plan to the Secretary of State under section 20 of the Act, the local planning authority must —

  1. make a copy of each of the proposed submission documents and a statement of the representations procedure available in accordance with regulation 35, and
  2. ensure that a statement of the representations procedure and a statement of the fact that the proposed submission documents are available for inspection and of the places and times at which they can be inspected, is sent to each of the general consultation bodies and each of the specific consultation bodies invited to make representations under regulation 18(1).

Currently the Council is working on a mountain of public comments which will hopefully be published shortly on the Council’s Website for the public to view. One important note however, residents played no part in the Evidence Base which finely tuned the Draft Plan proposals, very disappointing and a missed opportunity to allow the public to have a real say in the shaping of the Draft Local Plan.

Regulation 19 - Second Stage - Summer 2018

Hopefully, the sun will be shining

Regulation 19 Local Plan will set out both the Council's preferred version, it would seem that we already have that, and the commentary and assessment of objections to the current housing allocations suggested by the Council.

This phase allows further opportunity for the local communities, businesses and other interested stakeholders to comment on the policy content of a Draft Local Plan, within a specific remit. The remit for public consultation relates to the 'Tests of Soundness' and also includes legal compliance, as set out in National Planning Policy Framework.



Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

Regulation 19 - Preparation of local development documents


(1) Local development documents must be prepared in accordance with the local development scheme.

(2) In preparing a local development document the local planning authority must have regard to —

  1. national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
  2. the RSS for the region in which the area of the authority is situated, if the area is outside Greater London;
  3. the spatial development strategy if the authority are a London borough or if any part of the authority’s area adjoins Greater London;
  4. the RSS for any region which adjoins the area of the authority;
  5. the Wales Spatial Plan if any part of the authority’s area adjoins Wales;
  6. the sustainable community strategy prepared by the authority;
  7. the sustainable community strategy for any other authority whose area comprises any part of the area of the local planning authority;
  8. any other local development document which has been adopted by the authority;
  9. the resources likely to be available for implementing the proposals in the document;
  10. such other matters as the Secretary of State prescribes.

(3) In preparing the other local development documents the authority must also comply with their statement of community involvement

(4) But subsection (3) does not apply at any time before the authority have adopted their statement of community involvement.

(5) The local planning authority must also —

  1. carry out an appraisal of the sustainability of the proposals in each document;
  2. prepare a report of the findings of the appraisal.

(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision— .

  1. as to any further documents which must be prepared by the authority in connection with the preparation of a local development document;
  2. as to the form and content of such documents.

(7) The sustainable community strategy is the strategy prepared by an authority under section 4 of the Local Government Act 2000 (c. 22).



The final stages can wait for another day because there seems to be a major flaw at this point.

Housing allocations within the Draft Plan are already being granted planning approval and will not make it to the inspector who will oversee the final stage of the Local Plan Process.

There’s a very important question here and a reasonable one to ask.

Who is driving the housing allocations forward that make up the Council’s preferred options within the Local Plan Review?

We know the housing allocations within the draft plan are FBC’s preferred options and are still technically out for public consultation. We know developers can request pre-planning advice before submitting their development plans, plenty of opportunities to discuss the pros and cons of their proposals with planning officers, which is not unusual.

The big question is - Who is initiating the talks to bring forward the allocated housing sites found within the Draft Plan Review? One point is very clear, residents who have spent some considerable amount of time making their views known on these sites have now been disenfranchised from the Local Plan Review.

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Was there a choice?

15-02-2018

The Draft Local Plan was published in November. Immediately the cry from some was, "That’s it, sorted, there’s no alternative", no meaningful discussion, and so the domineering and overbearing attitude went on. The problem was we could only guess who decided the housing allocations although many had a very good idea. It was like a child having a revolting meal put in front of them, their eyes scanning the plate with disgust and a voice bellowing out, "eat or go hungry", however one did have the choice!

Our Local Plan - 2011 to 2036. 3300 New Homes to be allocated on various sites across Fareham.

Warsash, Portchester and the Town Centre are taking a huge hit in allocated housing sites. Funtley, and Wallington are already facing the impact of Welborne, the 6000 new home development, and are now being expected to take another batch of housing allocations. We must not forget the community of South Fareham either.

And so it was, the Draft Local Plan was gifted to Fareham residents who took on the challenge of making their feelings known in a public consultation with the understanding that their views would shortly be published, meanwhile greenfield sites within the Draft Local Plan are already being set adrift from the that process with planning consent being granted because developers are not willing to respect it and FBC afraid to challenge them because of the possible costs involved should they lose an appeal.

This whole saga of housing numbers is being debated, if that's the correct word to use, in an atmosphere of sound-bites and the background as to WHY we have arrived where we are today, in a position of development chaos, is being lost and not understood. Sadly that is very convenient for some.

It would be nice to bring to your attention a post by Caroline Dibden from CPRE Hampshire - the post says so much and addresses the issues lost in time.

WE (CPRE-Hampshire) have sent a paper to the TCPA (Town & Country Planning Association) citing PUSH and South Hampshire as a case study of an area where the calculation of the Objectively Assessed Housing Need was not open to public scrutiny nor to independent examination by a qualified inspector. Whilst the Local Planning Authorities are using the PUSH numbers under their Duty to Cooperate they have no statutory obligation to use them and could choose to use different/lower numbers in their own Local Plans.

We have said this in our submission to the recent Fareham BC consultation. Also pointing out that the latest population predictions from the ONS are actually lower than at the time of the PUSH study in 2016. So those figures should be considered out of date.

We will continue to press the case when the Fareham Local Plan comes to Examination stage. We might have lost some of the horses, but there are still some nice looking ponies in the stable - and we will continue to fight for them! A new Green Belt might even give them some fields to graze on?"


The message residents keep on hearing, "Central Government is responsible for the mess we find ourselves in", is not strictly true and our Local politicians did indeed play a role in creating the mess we see today.

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Brownfield land register

29-01-2018

Any suggestions? Large or small, they all count.

Brownfield Land registers will provide up-to-date, publicly available information on brownfield land that is suitable for housing. This will improve the quality and consistency of data held by local planning authorities which will provide certainty for developers and communities, encouraging investment in local areas. Brownfield registers should include ALL brownfield sites that are suitable for housing development irrespective of their planning status.

Local Planning Authorities are required to maintain a register of previously developed sites which are capable of being redeveloped or converted to provide housing-led development.

Present Sites

Bownfield land register as at 29-01-2018

Full current register

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Do our councillors understand the oft quoted DSP40?

27-01-2018

The current local plan outlines measures a development site must meet if it can be shown that the Council does not have a 5 year land supply. ALL points MUST be met, so the plan says.

On Wednesday 24th January, the majority of the planning committee took the view that ALL of the points had been met. Residents may have a different view?

Policy DSP40: Housing Allocations

Where it can be demonstrated that the Council does not have a five year supply of land for housing against the requirements of the additional housing sites, outside the urban area boundary, may be permitted where they meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The proposal is relative in scale to the demonstrated 5 year housing land supply shortfall
  2. The proposal is sustainably located adjacent to, and well related to, the existing urban settlement boundaries, and can be well integrated with the neighbouring settlement
  3. The proposal is sensitively designed to reflect the character of the neighbouring settlement and to minimise any adverse impact on the countryside and, if relevant, the Strategic Gaps
  4. It can be demonstrated that the proposal is deliverable in the short term
  5. and
  6. The proposal would not have any unacceptable environmental, amenity or traffic implications.


Core Strategy (- excluding Welborne)

It makes you wonder whether some of our councillors either don't understand point v. or do they live somewhere other than Fareham, Farnham perhaps.

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Is LP2 a broken tilted balance?

26-01-2018

Broken see-saw The problem with a facade is that sooner or later life shows up with a big pair of scissors. And so it was on Wednesday.

Tilted balance The Draft Local Plan was rumbled. All the talk of promises with regard to changes to housing allocations were laid bare. Words to comfort concerns made at the start of the public consultation on the local plan “we are in control” found to be hollow and without foundation, the word chaos was more appropriate.

To witness the public sentiments on local developments being simply brushed aside was not just disappointing, it was embarrassing to watch.

Yesterday developers had another three victories and the sad truth is, there will be more to come simply because there is no end in sight of their wish to destroy our greenfields.

The council evidence base supporting housing allocations in the draft local plan has not been subject to detailed scrutiny through a final public engagement process and ultimately through a public inquiry.

We have only just started the planning process on the plan and therefore the evidence supporting the housing allocations within the draft plan may be considerable, however, the evidence is open to challenge and in some cases that may be in the way of legal challenge, the very reason why we must follow due process and be fair to everyone.

One of the key roles of the public inquiry in 2019 is to scrutinise the draft plan evidence base to see whether it stands up to scrutiny. Until then one should be mindful of the weight given to such evidence, especially to housing allocations. It is the inspector’s task to oversee the public inquiry to determine whether or not such evidence is sound.

When one stands and takes in the magnitude of what was agreed at Wednesday’s planning committee and then recognise that there are another 300 additional homes on top still to come for Warsash, it takes one's breath away. We should all have enormous sympathy for the residents of Warsash.

The cry from the radio this morning of “it’s all the government’s fault” beggars belief and is utter rubbish. Yes, the government has a say in future housing numbers but then so do our local political leaders in setting such projections.

The culprit for this is the Objectively Assessed Housing Need figures commissioned, published and adopted by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH)

It was the intention of PUSH to have a public consultation on their Objectively Assessed Housing Need figures, however, PUSH chose not to do so and allow member authorities to use their local Plan reviews to address the matter, far too late in the planning process for the public to have any influence on the headline figures which created the turmoil and chaos we see today in Fareham’s development strategy.

Once PUSH had published their updated Objectively Assessed Housing Need figures, it was party time for the developers and PUSH must have known what would happen.

In denying the public consultation, PUSH denied the public the opportunity to challenge the evidence supporting the Objectively Assessed Housing Need figures. They are now set in stone

Large sections of Fareham residents have now been denied the opportunity to defend local greenfield sites by way of the public inquiry into the Draft Local Plan.

Disgraceful

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When might we hear?

10-01-2018

Draft Plan comment Following the closure of the consultation period on the draft local plan FBC undertook the task of entering the comments which were not submitted electronically into the consultation database. This essential task took a considerable amount of time.

Due to the volume of responses it is likely to be a number of weeks before FBC can publish the comments. Once all comments have been viewed they will be published on Fareham Council Website for the public to. view........watch this space for news.

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Developers attitude to LP2.

19-12-2017

So far North Fareham has been left fairly clear of the new development requirements - Welborne obviously excepted - but now the developers are starting to pile in with their ill-conceived plans.

This leaflet was delivered to a very few select residents in Cort Way recently. Whether the text was deliberately formatted in green on green to make it more difficult to read and copy I wouldn't want to say but her is the leaflet in all of its glory: Hope Lodge Farm leaflet side 1 Hope Lodge Farm leaflet side 2 I have managed to get the text across in a legible format so here it is:

Side 1:
Proposed Housing at land to the rear of Hope Lodge, 84 Fareham Park Road

This leaflet has been circulated to residents living close to the the above site. Its purpose is to inform you of an impending planning application and seek views on whether there are any specific concerns on issues which residents may wish to see included within the planning submission

As many residents will no doubt be aware Fareham Borough Council is required to have a rolling five year housing land supply. However the Council actually has just over 2 years supply and therefore it is required to deliver more housing through its planning powers.

As a result of this shortfall some difficult decisions will have to be made and sites developed which are not allocated including some greenfield sites.

This particular site can deliver the following-

  • Up to 44 homes of varying sizes and type
  • Affordable Housing in accordance with council requirements
  • Open Space
  • Loss of unsightly caravan storage use (brownfield land)
  • Loss of only poor quality grazing land

In our view the site is well suited to residential development and would provide a logical and appropriate extension to the edge of Fareham and would not unduly encroach into open countryside

Side 2:
The application will be in outline and therefore the plans submitted will include an indicative layout and streetscene / designs which will seek to establish only the broad development principles. If accepted these would be followed up by further planning submissions to approve details.

Although the layout will be indicative, the following will be included-

  • open space
  • a suitable buffer to the woodland areas to the north- west of the site
  • limited development to the north where the site has noise constraints imposed by the motorway
  • access to the existing access point which is under construction

We recognise that with the absence of a 5 year housing land supply is not a position most residents would wish their Council to be in and that many will simply want the site to be left as it is. However, developing on this site provides part of a solution and therefore we hope that it can be viewed as an opportunity rather than a threat.

To this end if there are any practical concerns you would like to be raised or suggestions which might improve the development please do not hesitate to make comments via mail@advocoplanning.co.uk

Please could any comments be made by 24th December 2017

How can 7 turn into 44 so easily? Can you imagine the congestion at the end of Fareham Park Road and Hillson Drive if this goes ahead. It will be almost as bad Down End Road onto thew A27 when Winnhams Farm gets going.

So far there have been four planning apllications for this land since 2000

This site is mentioned in the SHLAA under ref.1259 page 75 although it is NOT mentioned in the Development Allocations of the Draft Local Plan. Wonder what would happen if FBC granted the current application for 7 houses in the immediate future, could it then kick this idea into touch?

Side 1 para. 3 and side 2 para. 3 just about sums up the attitude that we can now expect more developers to take towards green spaces within the Borough.

And to think it all comes down to our Council not listening to the local community. ALL of the local groups warned that Welborne was not mature enough to form such an important cornerstone of planning policy but did they listen?

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The first phase of the Local Plan is now ended.

15-12-2017

Winnhams Farm The first stage in bringing forward a revised Local Plan is now complete. It is clear that the various communities in Fareham have indeed taken the opportunity to have their say and made representations to the Council in large numbers.

Across all of the communities of Fareham residents have engaged with the consultation process with a strong voice but also a splash of entertainment and fun.

It was really heartwarming to see members of CHIPs (Conserving Habitats in Portchester) giving their time in arranging meetings for residents across Portchester so that members of the public could explore all of the issues. This achievement was repeated in other neighbourhoods, Warsash, Romsey Avenue, Funtley and South Fareham.

Let us not forget, while time can be given free, the hiring of meeting venues, publication of leaflets and other printed material requires funding which falls on the communities to finance themselves and in doing so they demonstrated their determination and resolve to shape the Draft Plan.

Communities are demanding changes to the development proposals and are articulating a very clear message to the Council that they should bring forward alternatives to the housing allocations.

Let us have no further talk that there are no alternatives, or that the responsibility for bringing alternatives forward is placed on the shoulders of residents. The responsibility to bring changes forward is clearly on the shoulders of the Council and they will be judged accordingly.

The residents of Fareham have spoken and it is now for the Council to respond and take on board the views of our communities. The next stage is the "Consultation on the Publication Plan” due in Summer 2018. It is at this stage that the Council will exhibit their level of listening, or of their inability to listen.

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5 years Housing Land Supply.

07-12-2017

Land supply figures Local Plan policies are vulnerable where there is no five year supply because the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 14 makes it very clear that there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. This is set out in Paragraph 49 which clearly states that the relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up to date if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites.

This should also be read in conjunction with Paragraph 47 which seeks a significant boost in the supply of housing. Where policies are out of date, permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, considered against the policies of the NPPF as a whole.

There are numerous examples where sustainable development has been allowed overruling settlement boundaries, landscape value, employment use, affordable housing policies etc. There are a considerable number of appeal decisions available with more emerging each month which all confirm that where an Authority ‘cannot demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply, its housing supply policies should be considered out of date in accordance with of the Framework'.

There is a clear issue here:
Fareham Borough Council does not have a 5-year housing land supply. We have just over 3.5 years.

The reason for this is clear, no one listened to the Local Community Groups who pointed out in November 2014 to Fareham Borough Council and to the the Welborne Planning Inspector that the housing build out-rate for Welborne was pie in the sky, a dream which would not, in deed could not, be fulfilled. Guess what? The community was right and the powers that be, wrong.

So, what does this mean for allocated sites within our Draft Local Plan? Some of the sites being proposed are deeply controversial and residents are firm in their opinion they should be removed

The timetable for the preparation of the Fareham Local Plan 2036 is as follows:

  • Autumn 2017 Consultation on Draft Plan
  • Summer 2018 Consultation on Publication Plan
  • Autumn 2018 Submission of Plan to Secretary of State
  • Winter 2018/19 Examination
  • Summer 2019 Adoption

The last consultation on the draft plan finished on the 6th December. Planning Officers will now consider all the points made from a raft of different incoming streams, residents, developers, landowners etc.

Officers will then have the thorny task of deciding whether any proposed amendments to the draft local plan should make their way into the Local Plan Draft Publication which is planned to go out for public consultation next summer. Yes folks, at that point you will know if the Council has listened.

However, before we get to that point where the Publication Plan is published for consultation, developers will be hitting the Council with planning applications on a raft of greenfield sites which are proposed allocated sites within the draft plan, sites which were unallocated or even sites that are off the radar at present.

Such planning applications will have to be determined and the lack of a 5-year land supply will play a crucial role in determining them.

How proposals for residential development should be considered in the context of this Council's current 5 year housing land supply position.

The questions is - Is there time for the Council to make changes to the Draft Plan and adjust site allocations?


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How to make friends and influence children

12-12-2017

This was posted onto the Fareham-Do we have a say? - The Big Debate Facebook page the other day.



Suddenly the left hand one was replaced with the one on the right - I wonder what happened to Mike Ford? One has to wonder why, although we are told that Cllr. Woodward had the agreement of the Head Teacher, did she have the agreement of the parents? Was it changed at her behest or by request of the parents or even of Tory Head Office. I guess that we will never know.

There really must be some desparation creeping into trying to get acceptance of LP2 if our Executive Leader is now trying to influence primary school children in this way. It is quite noticeable that the meeting took place in the Hook with Warsash school. I wonder if he would have received a similar reception had he tried it at Wicor? A healthy interest in both National and Local politics is highly desirable but campaigning on behalf of a plan that it would seem, the majority of the children's parents are against is going slightly too far.

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Solent Times comment on the item below

30-11-2017

Picture stolen from The Solent Times
"Richard Disney, professor of economics at University of Sussex, said: "The simple answer is this is a number plucked out of thin air since affordability depends on price and income.""

Link to the Solent Times additional comments on the item

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How the local plan was born

28-11-2017

Fareham map showing developed areas
The starting point and the driver of the Draft Local Plan is work commissioned by The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire.

Objectively-Assessed Housing Need

Objectively-Assessed Housing Need South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment

The orthodox thinking of those who conform to the narrative that we need to build 250 to 300 thousand new homes a year across the UK to meet housing demand will point to the fact, the Fareham’s Draft Local Plan is based on evidence which is coherent with The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire's ( PUSH ) commissioned reports, of course they are correct.

  1. Objectively-Assessed Housing Need
  2. South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

Both reports reflect The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) assessment of housing need who in turn base their assessment on the Office for National Statistic’s (ONS) future household projections.

The problem, of course, the calculations used in all this work are projections based on assumptions, conjecture and theories with a large dose of hope that the final figures may be plausible, reasonable and convincing.

If one looks at past forecasts by ONS then one can see there has been a persistent record of overemphasising with regard to future household projections. There is also the matter of what accuracy to apply to the figures being used to determine future household need.

Household projections are driven by assumptions on future levels of fertility, mortality and net migration. Over years ONS has had to correct their forecasts downwards on all of these measures.

The household projections use the latest population projections from ONS and are inevitably dependent on the accuracy of those estimates. The projection methodology for the population projections does not enable calculations of probability, standard errors or confidence intervals and, similarly, cannot be calculated for the household projections and therefore in all probability have inaccuracies, but who cares, if we ALL keep saying we need 300 thousand new houses a year then that must be true!

The figures being used for building thousands of homes across Fareham could well be hopelessly out of tune with reality and yet no one has challenged the data used by PUSH to determine housing need in this Borough.

When PUSH commissioned their reports it was PUSH’s intention to allow the public to have their say on the report’s findings through a public consultation. The consultation was delayed and finally withdrawn with the announcement that the public consultation would form part of the various Draft Local Plan Reviews which members of PUSH would bring forward.

I would suggest to transport the public consultation of PUSH’s work to the local plan reviews being undertaken by the members of PUSH is far too late in the planning process and this is born out by Fareham’s Local Draft Plan consultation. There is no opportunity for Fareham residents to challenge PUSH’s work and the data which is driving new housing numbers.

The Draft Local Plan already has a built-in strategy, principally development should be located in three key areas. Warsash, Fareham Town Centre and Portchester. Other areas are also being targeted, Park Gate, Wallington, Stubbington and Funtley.

The government are clear, communities should be part of the planning process, they should be involved at the earliest stages of a Draft Local Plan when evidence gathering is initiated and officers start to shape the strategy and direction of the plan.

The Draft Local Plan doesn’t even have options for the residents to consider, merely a list of preferred housing allocations which addresses the crisis caused by the Cranleigh Road Inspector who decided our present local plan was unsound. With no options being presented to residents one should not be surprised if developers undertake the task on behalf of the Council.

For those who hold to the view the Draft Local Plan can be changed through the present public consultation and I do hope so, hopefully they will not have much explaining to do next spring.

But for now let us all take some time and ensure our views are known, so if you are for or against the local plan proposals visit and have you say.

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Draft Local Plan Warsash CAT meeting

13-11-2017

This was a very, very lively, two-part meeting, with over 300 attendees. Almost immediately after the start one resident stole Cllr Woodward’s thunder by asking for a show of hands from those opposed to the developments in the Western Wards. A virtual forest of hands shot up showing an almost unanimous strength of feeling in Warsash. I suspect a similar spectacle would be witnessed elsewhere in the borough but nobody has had the presence of mind to test the audience in that way during previous meetings.

Another resident picked up on Cllr. Woodward’s assertion that a higher than average number of people in the borough are over 85. She retorted ‘Well they will eventually die freeing up houses’: An interesting point. One could add to that by asking ‘how many of them live in care homes’? The question of Health Care came up and, as usual, Cllr Woodward blamed the local CCG. He also berated central government for the lack of funds the CCGs had to play with and he admitted publicly for the first time that there will be NO doctor’s surgery at Welborne. There will be a ‘Health and Wellbeing Hub there’ which can mean anything really.

In answer to a question about ‘garden grabbing’ Cllr. Woodward blamed John Prescott. Good Lord, how long ago was that administration in power? Another irate resident said ‘After listening to what had been said – by the presenters (admitting to the infrastructure problems) – one could only conclude that the housing proposals were a complete contradiction.’ He certainly had a point. With regards to the proposed Greenaway Lane development – around 700 new houses – it transpired that this land is under multiple-ownership – now where have we heard that before! One speaker complained that developers are pre-empting the adoption of the revised plan now they have seen it.

Another ‘where have we heard that before moment’ - Richard Jolley suggested that one site in Whiteley could not be fully developed because it abounded ‘valuable woodland’. Wow, how does that compare with valuable farm land?

Cllr Woodward suggested that SIX new schools would be built in the borough. I don’t know how many teaching staff would be needed to fill them but you do the maths: Bearing in mind, of course, that there is a shortage of teachers. I will leave you with this quote from one resident. "I think you (Cllr Woodward) have been brainwashed into believing the number of new homes that will be required by the borough"

And with an observation of my own - Richard Jolley emphasised that he could guarantee that the final plan will be changed. After what I heard last night I would put money on the chances that the number of houses proposed for Warsash WILL be revised - downwards. If so the question is where will they be re-sited?

Link to an article in The News

Link to the meeting videos

It just seems slightly disingenuous to me that so many councillors have made comments like Cllr. Cartwright's "Like my residents, I am totally against the developments." but ALL of the Conservative councillors voted FOR the adoption of the Local Plan. They knew, or should have known, where these sites were intended at the Scrutiny Board meeting yet all hands were raised to accept the plan.

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Major publications

27-10-2017

This page contains the list of all of the documents available used in the preparation of the Local Plan. I am still not too certain how I actually found it but it certainly wasn't easy. Below I have listed some of the documents that are probably of greatest interest but in total there are 60 separate documents.

Fareham Local Plan cover Fareham Local Plan 2036
"I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate how important it is that the public and other interested parties use the consultation process to express their views and opinions on the content face." - Councillor K. Evans
Housing Site Selection cover Housing Site Selection
The purpose of this paper is to explain, in broad terms, the processes undertaken to inform the selection of housing sites for the Draft Fareham Local Plan 2036.
Housing Site Selection cover Settlement Boundary Review
A series of background papers have been produced to accompany the Regulation 18 consultation on the Draft Fareham Local Plan 2036. The background papers provide an understanding of the latest evidence base and the reasoning for the policy approaches in the Plan.
Accessibility cover Accessibility
In a planning context, accessibility, in particular to shops, services and public transport is an important factor to consider when determining the future location of development. It can ensure that a number of key objectives are achieved. These include: the promotion of sustainable development, decreasing the reliance on the car whilst promoting the increased use of sustainable modes of transport, encourage greater social cohesion and promote health and wellbeing amongst local communities.

Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy cover Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy
The Strategy relates to internationally important Brent Goose and wading bird populations within and around the Special Protection Areas and Ramsar wetlands of the Solent Coast (Hampshire, Isle of Wight and West Sussex). The underlying principle of the Strategy is to wherever possible conserve extant sites, and to create new sites, enhancing the quality and extent of the feeding and roosting resource.
Open Space cover Open Space
The aim of the study is to provide a robust assessment of needs and deficiencies in open spaces upon which policy within the Fareham Local Plan 2036 can be based. The study will also create an up to date evidence base which can be maintained to aid implementation of the policies and the provision of open spaces during the plan period (2036).
Landscape Assessment cover Landscape Assessment
The Framework principles and policies make clear that planning should take account of the different roles and character of different areas, recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and promoting local distinctiveness. Planning policies and decisions should be based upon up-to-date and relevant evidence about the landscape characteristics of the area and the primary tools for achieving this are landscape character assessments and, where appropriate, assessments of landscape sensitivity.
Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) cover Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)
The SHLAA is the first stage in identifying the selection of sites that should be looked at further in considering which sites should be allocated for housing development. To this extent it forms a first stage ‘sift’ of sites to selecting sites for Local Plan allocation goes beyond the SHLAA process. Further details about the site selection process used in formulating the emerging Fareham Local Plan 2036 is explained in the Council’s Housing Site Selection Background Paper (October 2017).
Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan cover Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan
The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) provides an assessment of the infrastructure required to support the delivery of the proposed housing and economic needs set out in the Draft Fareham Borough Local Plan 2036. The IDP assesses the infrastructure needs of each individual settlement and for the Borough as a whole, excluding the new garden village at Welborne.

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Draft Local plan Portchester CAT meeting

26-10-2017

Well after sitting through last evenings's CAT meeting a common theme that seemed to run through many of the comments was - "It's not the fault of Local Government, we are just conforming to rules laid down by Central Government". Whilst that is undoubtedly true, surely the problem goes back to the days when the Local Plans were first produced with housing numbers being passed to PUSH from an outside contractor who carried out the original report. At that point Fareham Borough Council should have started objecting to the results of the report. To everybody that lives here it would have been blindingly obvious that the required level of development was unsupportable. But then I guess it must be very difficult to work out which side of the fence that you are on when you are the Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council and the Chairman of the Partnerhip for Urban South Hampshire. Two disparate organisations that SHOULD have different aims. Residents want Fareham to maintain a distinct identity whilst PUSH, as it's name implies, is surely looking for the urbanisation of the whole M27 corridor.

According to Cllr. Woodward, Portchester has no need of a strategic gap because it has already been 'majorly developed' over the years so with this plan in operation I wonder what other so-called strategic gaps this will apply to as those sites that have been selected for development will all bring major developments over the coming years so Locks Heath and Warsash could well have no need of any demarcation.

A big point was made about the Brent Geese browsing land and apparently the developers will have to put in mitigation measures for these birds. Just a silly thought but No Landing signs won't work, how can anybody mitigate a situation like this? How can they instruct the birds to land elsewhere. The only other way that I can think of is to shoot them, as far as the developers are concerned that would almost certainly be the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to dispose of the problem.

Most of the questions re-iterated what has been asked time and time and time and time again - Health Services, Education, Traffic, etc. And all we seemed to get were the same old responses with absolutely no definitive answers. Health is the responsibility of the CCG, roads and education are the responsibility of the County Council. All Fareham Borough seem to be able to be responsible for is building the houses and hoping against hope that somebody, somewhere will pick up the problems.

Videos of the meeting are available on the Yout Tube video page

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Fareham Scrutiny Board pass Draft Local plan

25-10-2017

Scrutiny Panel
Link to The Solent Times article

Considered sites Approved sites Votes for Votes against

Is it all a waste of time? Sometimes it makes you wonder. How many times FBC have ignored the wishes of it's residents in the past, or dibanded talking shops with local resident's groups that aren't saying what they want to hear?

Link to an article in The News

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Scrutiny Panel videos

24-10-2017

Well that's an end to the Scrutiny Panel videos, last ones posted tonight. For Portchester residents it might be a good idea to try and have a quick look before 19:00 tomorrow (only if you have a ticket of course). The three deputations from Portchester residents were excellent and well worth a look. To be honest Cllr. Cunningham did try his hardest but when you see the voting at the end you will realise that there was never a chance that anything would change.

The thing that I still can't understand after watching the damned things again is: How could they have released any information to allow people to make a deputation at either this meeting or at the previous Executive without releasing AT THE SAME TIME the SHLAA and the Draft Infrastructure Plan. They are so vitally important to understanding the plan that it's like trying to build a house with only a hand drawn sketch of what it should look like.

The plan that Cllr. Evans used is here. I'm not too sure quite what it is meant to show but without some sort of a key it doesn't make a great deal of sense to me.

Maps used by Cllr. Price - one of them showing the 'agreed' sites is in the Draft Local Plan and is shown here, it's possibly slightly clearer on the Developments page.

Considered sites Approved sites Cllr. Evans's working plan

Anyway videos are here. Enjoy.

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Draft Local Plan to be called-in.

13-10-2017

The Draft Local Plan that was voted through on Monday evening (09-10-2017) has been called-in to be heard by the Scrutiny Committee on 23rd October.

A quote by Cllr. Evans (chair of the Planning Committee) to the Solent Times:
"We must get this right as the document must be put to the Government inspectors who will throw it back to us if it is found to be unsustainable."

Is there any way in which we can get our councillors to understand us? - This level of development along the Solent Corridor IS completely unsustainable. It shouldn't need arguments from us, it is blatantly obvious to all that such a small area cannot support this level of development. We have neither the infrastructure nor the space to create the necessary infrastructure. Our road structure is already inadequate, our hospitals are now under-funded, under-staffed and under-sized for the catchment area that they cover. Our schools likewise are under-funded, under-staffed and soon will be under-sized for a considerable period of time.

Link to the article in the Solent Times
Link to the article in The News

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The day democracy died in Fareham

06-10-2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shaun Cunningham


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


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The results for Draft LP2

02-10-2017

After all of the deliberations that have gone on Fareham Borough Council released their draft proposals for the new Local Plan - all 247 pages of it.
I looked at the plans of where the developments will go and found it extremely difficult to find the planned development areas because of the general clutter so have developed a far simpler map which shows the developments called for in this report, those already under consideration by the plaaning department that are not in the report and the additional employment areas.

Click image to enlarge


This is a list of the sites that FBC have decided WILL be built, no comment, no consultation, no chance for us to affect the situation

HA1North and South of Greenaway Lane, Warsash700
HA2Newgate Lane South, Peel Common475
HA3Southampton Road, Titchfield Common400
HA4Downend Road East, Portchester350
HA5Romsey Avenue, Portchester225
HA6Cranleigh Road, Portchester120**
HA7Warsash Maritime Academy, Warsash100
HA8Pinks Hill, Wallington80
HA9Heath Road, Locks Heath*71
HA10Funtley Road South, Funtley55
HA11Raley Road, Locks Heath*49
HA12Moraunt Drive, Portchester49
HA13Hunts Pond Road, Titchfield Common38
HA14Genesis Centre, Locks Heath*35
HA15Beacon Bottom West, Park Gate30
HA16Military Road, Wallington26
HA1769 Botley Road, Park Gate24
HA18Funtley Road North, Funtley23
HA19399 – 409 Hunts Pond Road, Titchfield Common*22 (10**)
HA20North Wallington and Standard Way, Wallington21
HA21Hampshire Rose, Fareham18
HA22Wynton Way, Fareham*13
HA23Stubbington Lane, Hill Head*12
HA24335 – 357 Gosport Road, Fareham*8
HA25Sea Lane, Hill Head*8
HA26Beacon Bottom East, Park Gate5


Sub-Total (excluding those with planning permission) 2,827
* Allocation retained from adopted Fareham Local Plan Part 2
** Site has planning permission (quantums not included in sub-total as included as planning permission in DA1)

Links to the published DRAFT plan documents

 Background to the plan
 Appendix A - Draft Local Plan
 Appendix B - Policies Map
 Appendix C - Sustainability Appraisal
 Appendix D - Habitat Regulations Assessment Screening
 Appendix E - Equalities Impact Assessment

Para 11.1 page 97 sheet 115 - The draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) published alongside this draft Plan provides an assessment of all the types of infrastructure required and potential sources of funding identified to support the delivery of the housing and economic needs for each individual settlement within the Borough. If and when I can find this report I shall add the link to this site.

I can't seem to find this document anywhere on FBCs website - probably my fault but if it exists it should at least have equal prominence as this is the subject that has caused and still causes so much anguish.

I suppose that to term these developments 'threatened' is a misnomer. Fareham Council have acted as developer's champion, judge and jury. If this plan is adopted they WILL go ahead no matter what the people of Fareham think.

Impracticalities abound in this report - for example a Bus Rapid Transport is planned from the Delme Roundabout to the edge of the map when they are planning to put another 900 houses along the already overcrowded route.

Whilst there are 13 pages devoted to infrastructure, high speed broadband appears to be a vital consideration and transport and air quality get a mention but there isn't a word in there about health or education.

Their Policy on infrastructure delivery is:

POLICY INF1: Infrastructure Delivery

Development proposals will be required to provide and contribute towards the delivery of new or improved infrastructure. Planning permission will be granted where it can be clearly demonstrated that:

a) The new or improved infrastructure will be delivered at a rate, scale and pace taking account of phasing on larger schemes to meet the needs and requirements arising from the development; and

b) The new or improved infrastructure will be provided on-site as an integral part of the development unless the nature of the provision is better provided off-site; and

c) Where appropriate, the Council will require developers to provide this infrastructure as part of development proposals. Alternatively, this must

d) The developer shall provide suitable infrastructure to secure high speed broadband connections to serve the development. This shall include electrical sockets, storage and sufficient space in dwellings to support opportunities for homeworking.

When FBC published this draft they effectively took the step to pre-determine a whole raft of greenfield sites. Our Council has effectively said, regardless of public opinion and the basic right of residents to make their views known on a planning application, that they will allow development no matter what.Today our local democracy is in tatters. We are now being dictated to and our voices and rights have been taking away from us. The switch from democracy to autocracy seems to have been a very simple step.

Sites like Seafield Road, Romsey Avenue, Winnham Farm and other sites across Fareham have been given the green light without the public having a say. Such actions to pre-determine sites and remove our democratic rights to oppose or support a particular development allocation must be seen to be undemocratic and must be challenged.

 Link to the Daily Echo article.

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 Press Release

22-09-2017

Cranleigh Road Appeal Outcome to Stand


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

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

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

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

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

  • Wed 25 October – Portchester Community School
  • Thur 26 October – Holy Rood Church, Stubbington
  • Wed 8 November – Ferneham Hall, Solent Room
  • Fri 10 November – Victory Hall, Warsash
  • Mon 13 November – St Peter's Church, Titchfield
For more information about the Draft Local Plan please contact the Council's Planning Team on 01329 824601.

ENDS

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