Posbrook Lane Development
The 'Site off Posbrook Lane' trundles on unfortunately with Foreman Homes determined to ignore Local Authority planners, Planning Inspectors and Village opinion to the bitter end.
Let’s go over the history :
1: Foreman Homes put in a planning application for 150 homes on the field off Posbrook Lane that abuts Bellfield and Barn Close. The Application is refused by Fareham Planners
2: Foreman Homes appeal this decision
3: An Inquiry is held and the Planning Inspector refuses the application.
4: Foreman Homes put in another planning application for the same site but this time for just 50 houses.
5: Fareham Planning Officers indicate they will be recommending refusal.
6: Foreman Homes state that the decision was not made within the required time period and say they will appeal. They were aware that the officers would be recommending refusal however, and that is just what happened. The committee refused the application.
This means that once again the Planning Inspectorate, which is an independent from government body, will be asked to consider the new application for 50 homes.
To be frank the reason for the delay is obvious and even Foreman Homes cannot ignore what has been happening over the last 5 months!
F.B.C. have always been against developing this site and confirm their opposition to any development along the ‘Meon Valley Strategic Gap’ in the newly adopted local plan. While at the same time indicating just how they will fulfil their obligations under current government planning regulations.
Once the inspector has been appointed all those who wrote in with comments to F.B.C. on the new application will be informed and asked if they wish to make comments to the inspector. Their original comments will also be forwarded to the inspector.
It is perhaps worth recalling just why the inquiry inspector refused permission for the 150 houses in the original application.
‘I have concluded that the proposal would result in material harm to the character and appearance of the area, which is a valued landscape, to the setting of two Grade II* listed buildings and a minor adverse effect on best and most versatile agricultural land in the area.
On this basis the proposal would conflict with policy CS14, CS22 in the LPP1 and DSP5, DSP6 in the LPP2’.
LPP1 and LPP2 refer to F.B.C’s. Local Planning Policy parts 1 and 2.
(In terms of LPP1 policy CS14 seeks to control development outside defined settlement boundaries seeking to resist proposals which would adversely affect its landscape character and function. While policy CS22 advises land within strategic gaps will be treated as countryside and development proposals will not be permitted where it affects the integrity of the gap and the physical and visual separation of settlements.
In LPP2 Policy DSP6 further advises in respect of residential development outside of defined urban settlement boundaries that it should avoid a detrimental impact on the character or landscape of the surrounding area. DSP5 addresses the protection and enhancement of the historic environment. In considering the impacts of proposals that affect designated heritage assets it advises the Council will give great weight to their conservation and that any harm or loss will require clear and convincing justification, reflecting the statutory and national policy positions.)
‘The appeal site is located where there is potential for a significant effect on a number of European designated wildlife sites which comprise Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) potential Special Protection Areas (pSPAs) and Ramsar sites.’
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
In our submission to FBC we stated :
‘It is, to quote your own view from the Local Plan consultation, ‘a very
important landscape and any proposed new housing would have a negative impact.’
Keeping the Meon Valley strategic gap as a development free zone is vital in retaining the integrity of the 2 adjacent conservation areas of the Village of Titchfield and Titchfield Abbey.
Indeed the local plan suggests that at some time this gap has the potential to become greenbelt.
As the only open space between Southampton and Portsmouth along the A27. It is vital to retain this space to prevent coalescence between adjacent developments in Stubbington, Warsash and Park Gate.’
Foreman Homes should not be allowed to encroach in any way on this gap. Fareham already have a robust plan for housing development within the borough including provision for 400 or so dwellings alongside the A27 at the nearby Segensworth roundabout.
All of the comments made by the inspector hold good whether they be for 150 houses or 57. This is a green space that should remain green.
Please look out for the request to submit comments to the Inspector, and submit them.
We've been approached by Nick Ellis of a group called Meonmarsh to help publicise their planning application to Fareham Borough Council to create a local ‘nature reserve’ on land to the south of Bridge Street, approximately 2 hectares.Normally with an application such as this, he would have to set up an exhibition somewhere like the Parish Room to show local residents what he intends to do and make comments on. These however are not normal times and FBC has suggested he sets up a web site and he has asked if we would help publicise it by setting up a link to his site from the Village Trust Webpage.
We have agreed to this in the circumstances but need to point out that this does not mean we either support or indeed object to the proposal.
I think you will find the idea interesting, and certainly out of the ordinary.
Here is the link: https://www.meonmarsh.com/
After the retirement of Mike Franklin as Fareham Borough Council’s Conservation Officer they have now appointed a new officer who will be dealing with most of the applications involving listed buildings and those within the conservation area. This, of course, includes a fair part of the Village. The name of the new officer is Sarah Leete - Groves and she started with Fareham Borough Council in March.
Posbrook Lane Development Update-Apr 2020
It was exactly a year ago on the 12th of April that the planning inspector delivered his verdict on the Foreman Homes application to build 150 houses on a field off Posbrook Lane and adjoining the Bellefield Estate.
He upheld the Fareham Borough Councils' decision to refuse planning permission.
The FBC decision was based on its CS22 policy that advises ‘land within the strategic gap will be treated as countryside and development proposals will not be permitted where it affects the integrity of the gap and the physical and visual separation of settlements’
This, however, was not the main reason the inspector refused the application what he was more concerned with was the ‘material harm to the character and appearance of the area which is a valued landscape to the setting of the 2 grade ll* listed buildings and a minor adverse effect on best and most versatile agricultural land in the area. He went on: On this basis, the proposal would conflict with policy CS14 in the Local Plan 1 (This part of the FBC plan is to do with maintaining strategic gaps between settlements) and DSP5, DSP6, in the Local Plan 2 (Also there to protect the character of the landscape and its conservation and heritage)
Since this decision, Foreman Homes has submitted another application for the field, this time for 57 houses on the same site. The Planning Inspector gave no indication that a reduction in the density of housing might open the door to a further application. Therefore, the same reasons for refusing planning stand.
Fareham Borough Planners remain opposed to the application, nothing has changed in that respect.
The Village Trust along with hundreds of others in the community have, once again, registered their objections. A decision was due on the 20th March, however, COVID 19 has taken something of a front seat as far as both national and local authorities are concerned, and an understandable hiatus has ensued.
It is worth remembering that in the New Local Plan, which recently completed its public consultation, it continues to emphasize the Meon Valley as an important strategic gap. Indeed, in our submission to the Draft Plan proposals we stated:
The Titchfield Village Trust fully supports the updated Draft Local Plan particularly in the proposals for the Meon Valley which includes the village of Titchfield.
We urge you to continue to protect this “important landscape” as a ‘Strategic Gap’ which, as you mention, has “an important role in separating settlements and maintaining the distinct identities of towns, villages and urban areas” while at the same time preserving the 2 conservation areas within the valley (Titchfield Village and Titchfield Abbey)
We would also encourage you to follow up on working with PUSH in designating the area as greenbelt which would give further protection to the valley.
As things stand it could become the only green space between Southampton and Portsmouth and as such deserves all the protection it can be given.
We remain committed to standing against the Foreman Homes proposal as we always have done in presentations to both the Fareham Planning Committee and at the Planning Inspectors Enquiry.
Foreman Homes Appeal
Last Year Foreman Homes, a local housing developer, submitted a plan for 150 houses on a site off Posbrook Lane and between Bellfield and The Posbrook farm development. It was refused.
The Village Trust along with over 250 individuals posted objections. Officers from Fareham Borough Council also advised refusal. The Planning Committee were almost unanimous in their decision to refuse.
Foreman Homes have decided to Appeal that decision :
Planning Appeal Reference number APP/A1720/W/18/3199119
Planning Application Reference number P/17/0681/OA
Appeal by: Foreman Homes Ltd
Site Address: Land east of Posbrook Lane, Titchfield, Fareham, Hampshire PO14 4EZ
Appeal Proposal: Outline Planning Application For Application For Scout Hut, Up To 150 Dwellings, Community Garden, Associated Landscaping, Amenity Areas And A Means Of Access From Posbrook Lane
I am writing with regard to the above planning application recently decided by Fareham Borough Council. Following consideration by this Council the application was refused.
Fareham Borough Council has been informed that an appeal has been made against this decision by Foreman Homes Ltd. Planning appeals are decided by an executive agency known as the Planning Inspectorate not Fareham Borough Council.
The Planning Inspectorate will hold a Public Inquiry to discuss the appeal. You are able to attend and we will write to you again to inform you of the date, time and venue.
We will forward any representations you have made to us previously about the application to the Planning Inspectorate. You are also welcome to make further comments now if you would like to do so. All comments will be considered by the Planning Inspector assigned to this case when deciding the appeal. Once an appeal decision has been received we will contact you again and let you know the outcome of the appeal. The appeal decision will be published on http://www.gov.uk.
You can view the appeal documents by visiting the Fareham Borough Council website at http://www.fareham.gov.uk/casetrackerplanning/ and entering the application reference number P/17/0681/OA. If you do not have access to the internet the appeal documents can also be viewed in person at the Civic Offices, Civic Way, Fareham between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
If you wish to make comments on the appeal you must do so to the Planning Inspectorate by 1st June 2018.
You can comment online at the Planning Inspectorate website athttps://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk. Alternatively, if you do not have access to the internet you can write (quoting the appeal reference number APP/A1720/W/18/3199119 and providing three copies of your comments) to:
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Please note that the Planning Inspectorate will not acknowledge representations. They will however ensure that letters received by the deadline are passed on to the Planning Inspector dealing with the appeal. If comments are submitted after the deadline the Planning Inspector will not normally look at them and they will be returned.
Further guidance can be found in the Planning Inspectorate publication “Guide to taking part in planning appeals proceeding by an inquiry” which is available to view at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/taking-part-in-a-planning-listed-building-or-enforcement-appeal.
They give as their reason for appealing :
As the Local Plan is out of date, the presumption in paragraph 14 of the NPPF applies.
The Council cannot demonstrate an up-to-date five year supply of deliverable sites for housing. In accordance with paragraph 49 of the NPPF, the development plan is to be regarded as out of date. The development of the appeal site for a sustainable form of development should now be considered favourably in accordance with the advice at paragraph 14 of the NPPF, having regard to the importance of delivery of housing for meeting the district’s market and affordable housing needs and the delivery of economic and sustainable growth noting that there is a significant deficit.
The scheme represents a sustainable form of development and the appeal scheme involves the provision of significant benefits.
Not only are there are no adverse impacts which significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, but there are in fact significant benefits which significantly and demonstrably outweigh any perceived harm (landscape harm, harm to the setting of a Grade II* Listed Building and loss of best and most versatile agricultural land).
The appeal scheme is submitted in accordance with the NPPF and it should be allowed so as to permit a sustainable form of much needed new market and affordable housing in helping to meet the Borough’s housing needs and to provide the additional benefits which have been identified.
NPPF is the Governments National Planning Policy Framework.
They are quoting Para 14 which says :
14. At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.
For plan-making this means that:
local planning authorities should positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area
Local Plans should meet objectively assessed needs, with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change, unless:
any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole
specific policies in this Framework indicate development should be restricted4
For decision-taking this means5:
approving development proposals that accord with the development plan without delay and
where the development plan is absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date, granting permission unless:
any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole or
specific policies in this Framework indicate development should be restricted
They are basically saying Fareham is out of date and needs to catch up. It’s the reasons given by the developer at Cranleigh Road Porchester when they went to appeal. The inspector allowed that appeal.
Since then however Welborne has started to move forward, and the local Plan 2036 has come into being. We endorsed that plan which included 400 houses just on the edge of the village at Segensworth. In fact an application is about to be submitted for 150 houses on that site. These will all be included in the arguments FBC will put forward showing that Fareham is in fact 'Up To Date' along with the Meon gap strategy, to prevent coalescence of current housing, and the detriment to listed buildings and the surrounding countryside which enhances and is part of the Titchfield conservation area.
The Village Trust will be attending the enquiry and pointing up our previous arguments as well as showing the inspector that we are not an organisation that says 'Not In My Backyard'. Note our support of the Local Draft Plan (See Below) and our support for the 86 units currently under construction in the 'Retirement Village' at Friary Meadows off Cartwright Drive.
Those developments are in the right place this one is not !
If you wish to add to any previous objections you made to this development please do using the contact details supplied by the Notice of Appeal above.
Please also be aware that any previous objections you made will be forwarded to the inspector.
As soon as we have all the details about dates, times and place we will let you know.
The Following is the Trust's Submission to the Fareham Draft Local Plan Consultation
The Titchfield Village Trust's comments regarding the Local Plan come from a group which takes great pride in helping to create a pleasant and sustainable environment in which to live.
As an organisation we have no objections to the overall plan.
It would seem the 400 units planned for Southampton Road would be the ones that would most affect the village, they are certainly the closest. They will have an impact on schools and health provision within the immediate area, something we are sure you will be aware of.
On examination the 700 or so houses planned for Warsash are much more likely to affect village residents.
At the present time the traffic coming from the Warsash Road and using Common Lane/Coach Hill and Bridge Street to get onto the Titchfield Road and on to Gosport/Lee/Stubbington and Daedalus cause a considerable increase in traffic flow during the morning and evening peak times.
This brings a particular problem for children coming from the Bellfield Estate and crossing Coach Hill attending the Primary School. We have not had a crossing patrol person for the last year and County funding for these looks likely to be cut due to budget restrictions.
We would ask that any major development in Warsash takes note of this and developers/planners move towards funding traffic calming measures in this area.
One suggestion the Trust did put to Richard Jolly at the consultation meeting held in the village was to create a ‘No Right Turn’ from the Warsash Road into Common Lane similar to the one from Cartwright Drive along Segenswortrh Road leading to Fontley Rd/Mill Lane. Drivers would then be encouraged to take the ‘New’ dual carriageway A27 and the planned Stubbington Bypass to reach the southern work areas of the borough. This of course would mean co-ordinating with HCC as the roads/transport authority.
We applaud the idea of maintaining as far as is possible the Meon and Stubbington strategic gaps. Our support for the New Country Park in the Titchfield Abbey conservation area will no doubt go some way to keeping them in place
We would also like to put on record that the 86 units being built at Friary Meadow as part of the Country Park ‘Quid Pro Quo’, along with the major housing development in Titchfield Park should certainly be regarded as the wards contribution to the overall Fareham housing allocation.
As a result we are against any further housing projects within the village, as we believe FBC should be as well. It would certainly go against the coalescence policy you have in place and is once again likely to use green field sites which should stay that way in order to retain the unique adjacent conservation areas of the Village itself and the Abbey.