‘If we do not allocate space it will be done for us’: Hundreds turn out to protest new homes plan

TENSIONS are rising between the residents of a Hampshire Village and Fareham Borough Council as plans for a significant redevelopment of the area were revealed as part of their revised town plan.

At a heated consultation meeting attended by 350 local residents, at Victory Hall Warsash, the leader of the council Sean Woodward explained their plan to build 8,000 new homes across the borough by 2036.

This included two schemes in Warsash which would see 700 new homes built north and south of Greenaway lane and a further 100 at the site of Warsash Maritime College.

The Greenaway site would see 700 new homes built on the green belt site which the council assured would be supported by improvements to infrastructure to accommodate the influx of new residents.

Richard Jolley, Director of Planning and Regulation for FBH said that The Greenaway site would also feature green corridors and low impact housing of no more than 2.5 storeys high in keeping with the existing village.

However, it was suggested that at least one primary school in the area would also need to be expanded to accommodate the new residents.

The brownfield Warsash Maritime college site would see the conversion of two listed buildings including the old accommodation block and theatre which would provide half of the proposed homes needed.

The Genesis centre on the site which is used as a youth centre for children with special needs would also be demolished to make way for the new development however councillor Woodward made assurances that a new better centre “fit for the 21st Century” would be built to replace the old one before it was demolished.

Residents aired their concerns which ranged from how plans did not properly take into consideration the additional cars on already congested roads, to the effect the development might have on wildlilfe and the character of the area. One resident said: The developers don’t live here. They don’t give a stuff what happens to the land”

And another said: “Sticking so many houses there would be a nightmare!”

Councillor Woodward said that he felt it was important that resident’s concerns were heard but that it was very much a draft plan. “However, our choice is we build more housing, or we say Fareham is full and the planning inspectors will do the job for us with no infrastructure or control. If we do not allocate space it will be done for us.”

Brain Smale, chairman of the Warsash Residents Association, said:”We have to accept our fair share of housing in Fareham but 800 homes is too many.

“Extra people will certainly on existing put a strain on existing infrastructure including doctor’s surgeries and schools as well as create traffic problems which the village will not be able to cope with.”

The consultation runs until December 8.