Although a member of the Trust and the Forum I am voicing my own opinions.
Throughout the last two years Forum representatives have met on an average every three months with Fareham Borough Council Planning representatives. This has involved discussions on future planning, including the Neighbourhood Plan area. We were very aware that the Draft Local Plan would endeavour to maintain the strategic gap, despite numerous offers of land from owners in and around the Neighbourhood Plan area. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Neighbourhood Plan, based on residents views, advises no sites in the area. The housing group of the Forum spent much time assessing, using approved assessment sheets, to obtain evidence to support our policy of no sites. Government guide lines strongly support these discussion phases to enable, if conflict arises, time for both sides to negotiate and involve residents in further discussion. This brings about“ running alongside the Borough Plan “ it does not mean “ bending the knee”
In the light of recent pressure from Government for the Council to find even more housing it is vitally important that Fareham have a clear view that residents, if they vote yes to the plan, have shown that they consider no sites suitable in this area. With so many sites offered for purchase this is a definite consideration that the Borough must take. Surely any brake on thoughts of large scale developing is worth the effort!
Warsash and other areas around are, some with help from their Councillors, moving forward to quickly produce a Neighbourhood Plan. The Forum have also been given the right to speak at the Posbrook appeal, where they will give clear reasons for not supporting this site. Even though the plan may not have been voted on at that point, as an emerging plan it must be taken into consideration.
In my opinion there is no conflict between the Forum and the TVT. All members of both have the aims of keeping conservation, protection of the strategic gap, water meadows and environment safe. It is only in the case of windfall development (like the garage site) that the Plan would have a statutory role. However, it is good that a number of areas such as Barrys Meadow play equipment, accessibility, traffic calming, invasive species, raising historic profile, presentation, and even rubbish bins have been raised by residents. These, surely can be worked on by any group! There is no conflict, no competition of “ Who did what “ – only the Village wins.
On the issues of money coming from any development, there is one point I would make. If, in the event of money coming from development, it would be through consultation with every resident on how the money would be spent. The area is a mixture of age range and socio-economic groups of residents who would make those decisions and not just our job as members of the Trust
Lastly, I agree it is “not broken” at the moment but this Plan may stop it being broken for the next twenty years by major developers. It may also, through the Tasks listed in the Plan, get some things moving again. The vibrations felt by some residents in South Street due to speeding and heavy traffic will end up causing damage that may be could have been avoided. We could say all these things have been tried before but sometimes new ideas come along and changes for the good happen.
Let us all work together for this beautiful place!