Neighbourhood Forum Response

 

Over the last few years the committee of the Village Trust have spent a considerable amount of time studying the submissions made by the Neighbourhood Forum.

You may recall we acted as their ‘bankers’ during the time they were receiving government grants.

You may also have attended the meeting when we gave the Forum an opportunity to outline this plan.

You will no doubt have seen the letter Fareham Borough Council have sent out regarding the final application to set up a Neighbourhood Plan.

After studying this plan in detail the committee of the Trust will be responding to the consultation with the document below.

We would like to emphasise your committee have had lengthy discussions regarding this plan and our response is one that we feel is in the best interests of the village.

Let us first quote from the Department for Communities & Local Government in their guide to Neighbourhood Plans.

 

1: A Neighbourhood Plan is about the uses and development of land.

 

2: Often the process of preparing a plan will highlight non- planning issues.

These would form part of the statutory neighbourhood plan so should not be subject to the independent examination and referendum.

 

3: A neighbourhood plan may deal with transport insofar as it relates to new development. It may not deal with things like traffic management of existing networks, unless such management would be necessary to allow development to be approved.

 

Taking these guidelines into consideration it would appear that Chapters 10 (Getting Around), 11 (Commercial and Economic Objectives) 12 (The Built and Natural Environment), and 13 (Historic Titchfield) fall outside the plans remit, and certainly outside the referendums terms of reference.

To be frank these chapters are a case of The Neighbourhood Forum stealing the clothes that the Titchfield Village Trust have been wearing over the last 50 years!

 

The risk is that the inclusion of all ‘nice to have’, i.e. aspirational community things contained in these chapters, whilst being topics that everyone may agree are good aims; in fact many are already being worked on and have been undertaken by the Titchfield Village Trust over the last 50 years, really do obfuscate what is to be voted on. If a referendum comes about clarity is required to emphasise that any vote is focussed on and about housing development (i.e. number of houses, where they are to be built, type etc) and that matters such as traffic, parking, history, buses etc will not be influenced by a yes vote.

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Concentrating then on the planning and development.

Our major concern is over paragraph 9.3.

153 dwellings to be built in the plan period of 16 years within the plan boundary.

This would be the equivalent of 10 houses per year as stated in the original Draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Will that result in 20 in year 2 etc.etc. until it reaches 153 ?

We do note that the plan states in para 9.6 it is not specifying any sites.

This will mean that if a referendum is held and votes yes, it will form a part of the local plan that affects Titchfield and we are certain that developers will notice this and they, as they are already doing, will inevitably identify sites even if the plan doesn’t.

We do not have room for 153 dwellings within the village without destroying green field sites.

 

As things stand within the current draft local plan Fareham Borough Council has “NO development” planned for Titchfield. It states: “Titchfield is a small settlement, with a rich historic character and a thriving local centre. Few development opportunities have been identified, apart from small infilling proposals”

FBC’s own Core Strategy and Policy CS22 creates the strategic Meon Gap, which means that proposals for development will not be permitted.

The Village falls right in the middle of this gap. This neighbourhood plan goes directly against that policy and indeed the Government National Planning Policy Framework which states:

 

Strategic policy-making authorities should establish a housing requirement figure for their whole area, which shows the extent to which their identified housing need (and any needs that cannot be met within neighbouring areas) can be met over the plan period. Within this overall requirement, strategic policies should also set out a housing requirement for designated neighbourhood areas which reflects the overall strategy for the pattern and scale of development and any relevant allocations

Once the strategic policies have been adopted, these figures should not need retesting at the neighbourhood plan examination, unless there has been a significant change in circumstances that affects the requirement

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Fareham Borough Council have already decided that there is to be no development within the Neighbourhood Plan area but have been told by the government that they will have to increase their current housing allocation within the entire borough. We have already backed the construction of 400 new dwellings on the edge of the village as part of that housing need.

The Titchfield Village Trust Committee do not believe that Fareham Borough Council should, or in fact will, go back on their commitment to no development within Titchfield.

This Neighbourhood Plan says there needs to be development.

The Titchfield Village Trust Committee fundamentally disagrees.

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Other points outside the referendum agenda but included in the Plan:

 

Para 4.2 :

We need to clarify why the Forum left the Trust, as this paragraph is being somewhat economic with the truth.

It was the Village Trust that asked the Neighbourhood Forum to cease being a sub-committee. We were being told that in order to comply with government regulations we had to alter our constitution in order to fit the Neighbourhood Forum model.

We felt, more than anything that we had to remain independent from both local and national government and protect our charitable status so asked the Forum to leave, which they did.

 

Para 10.6

“The growth of car ownership has not been offset by any significant increase in parking facilities”

The Trust helped campaign for the new parking arrangements in the community centre after 2 traffic surveys carried out by FBC resulting in an extra 30 spaces, this would seem to us ‘significant’

 

 

We would like to emphasise that The Titchfield Village Trust has over the last 50 years been the voice of the village. We have campaigned, in many cases successfully, on most of the aims, objectives and aspirations contained in Chapters 10,11,12, and 13.

As things stand the Titchfield Village Trust Committee will be advising its members to vote NO if this plan gets to the referendum stage for the reasons stated above.

 

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As an after thought it might be prudent to point out that a developer (Foreman Homes) recently appealed a Fareham Borough Council planning committee refusal for 150 dwellings within the Neighbourhood Plan area.

This was opposed by Titchfield Village Trust and the Neighbourhood Forum.

The result of the appeal is imminent but the Neighbourhood Forum in their opening submission pointed out that if the appeal was successful the 153 dwellings they are recommending would be ‘fulfilled in one fell swoop’

Perhaps it might be worth waiting until the planning appeal is decided because if the housing requirement is met in this way there would be no need for a referendum.

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Posbrook Lane

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

Bristol

BS1 6PN

 

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.

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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.

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