This is to let you know that, despite the fact that over 240 residents voted for the Neighbourhood Plan at the referendum, we were unsuccessful. The NO group received over 100 more votes. This is only the third time in the history of neighbourhood plans that a plan has been rejected.
On behalf of the Forum I would like to thank all of you who voted for the Plan.
With very best wishes
On page 14 of Fareham Today – Local Plan Update June 2019 the residents are asked “Should the Council continue to protect this area from development?”
If you support this please to reply to Fareham Borough Council by 26 July 2019. The more support the better and it could result in the Meon Valley being designated as a highly valued landscape and a greenbelt area.
Details on how to reply are set out on pages 18 and 19 of this version of Fareham Today.
* a web page with a link to a comment form which can be accessed via www.fareham.gov.uk/localplanconsultation
* an email to email@example.com
* by writing to the Consultation Team at the Civic Offices
* by phoning the Consultation Team on 01329 824409.
Here is a copy of letter that Ross Underwood sent to Nick Girdler of TVT, with regard to its “Vote No” flyer (reproduced here with Ross’s persmission):
Your main point of dissension about the Neighbourhood Plan is about the building of houses in the village. I will leave aside the national crisis and any local need for housing and consider the TVT position. You have attempted to frighten people into rejection of the Plan on the basis of housing development, but what alternative is there? Without the Plan the village will have no say when faced with developers seeking to build on whatever site, however unsuitable (ref. the Posbrook Lane). However with a legally constituted Neighbourhood Plan, part of the official Fareham Plan, the village must be consulted on any development.
I find the position of TVT, regarding the referendum, disingenuous. It appears that the organisation has sat on its hands during the period of its preparation, ignoring the work, the research, and the public consultations. When the Plan is published you have mounted a campaign to stop it yet I have not seen you seeking local people’s views other than those of your own close circle.
It appears that TVT is more concerned about its own position because the organisation will have even less relevance if the referendum votes yes.
However, on another matter I welcome the plans and involvement of TVT with the Parish Rooms as this is something useful in the village. Perhaps at this late hour you could save the £13,000 you propose to spend on ‘village gates’ and put it to better use.
Have you not heard that people are suffering from ten years of austerity and reduction of public services? It is an insult to ordinary people to spend money needlessly sanitising the village.
|FBC Press Release states:
‘Residents will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question: ‘Do you want Fareham Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Titchfield to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’
If more than 50 per cent vote ‘yes’, then Fareham Borough Council will ‘make’ the Titchfield Neighbourhood Plan. This means the plan will help determine planning applications in the Titchfield Neighbourhood Area and it will also form part of the statutory development plan for Fareham.’
|Independent External Examination:
The examiner, Mr Timothy Jones, Barrister FCIArb, a member of the Planning Bar, considered all the documentation submitted and also visited the area twice to gain a full impression of Titchfield. He examined the Consultation Statement to the written Plan to ensure that all the Basic Conditions were met. He writes in his summary “I commend the Draft TNP for being in an easy -to- read style”. He was satisfied with the Consultation Statement and says “I am impressed by the Consultation Statement, which shows more extensive consultation than is often the case.”
In housing matters, Barrister Jones states that the report on housing numbers has been produced by reputable consultants and is specific to Titchfield. He sees the need for affordable housing but does not think this will be met totally by windfall sites. He agrees with the Plan that no development should take place on greenfield sites and concludes “that housing provision should be determined by national and district policy”
Timothy Jones also says: “I recommend that the modified NDP proceed to a referendum, the referendum area being the area of the Draft TNP.”
|The Posbrook Lane Appeal:
As the Neighbourhood Plan had been submitted to FBC at the time of the Appeal, then 80% of the Plan influenced the process. That is why David Phelan, our Forum representative, played such an integral and important part in the Appeal process and successful outcome. If it had been approved then 100% of the plan would have influenced the process.
The Neighbourhood Plan, in addition to legally binding policies, contains Community Aspirations. These are suggestions within the Plan area that residents have identified for change. Providing the Plan is approved, a group within each area will work hard to ensure these aspirations are achieved. The groups are housing/planning, traffic/parking, historic Titchfield, the building and natural environment, the economy and business.
“Without the safety net, that an endorsed Neighbourhood Plan offers, being in place, future changes that FBC might need to visit upon us will be very much harder to rebut.
I absolutely recognise that housing is one of the issues closest to our hearts, but the NP addresses a host of other initiatives. If unsighted on the Plan, I would encourage a quick read to get a feel for the span of policies that set criteria that the Council would be obliged to recognise should the Plan be endorsed.
That a massive amount of hard work has been put into development of the NP is no argument to vote for its endorsement at the referendum. But it is worth noting that to vote against it would deprive us all of a degree of legislative protection against future Council initiatives, some of which could be extremely unpalatable, unwelcome and ultimately impossible to adjust regardless of the degree of lobbying on our part.”
|It gives the community a real say in its future|
|It is an official legal document that sits alongside the Council's Local Plan|
|It sets future housing policy for the neighbourhood over the next 20 years. After assessing all sites in the area the Plan does not identify any sites suitable for large scale housing development|
|It preserves village life and amenities|
|It ensures Titchfield remains a vibrant and sustainable community|
|It respects the history and heritage of the area|
|It helps address traffic and parking issues|
|It ensures the Landscape of Distinction (previously known as Strategic Gap) is maintained|
|It ensures the environment and habitat of the area are protected|
|Without a Neighbourhood Plan, planners or developers could run ‘rough-shod’ over Titchfield|
|Why you should vote ‘YES’||What happens if you vote ‘NO’|
|In the last 25 years over 170 new properties have been built. These have enhanced the village. The Neighbourhood Plan is stating that in the next 20 years Titchfield may need an additional 153 houses though FBC believes that most of the housing need for the area will be met by what is known locally as the Hambrook site soon to be built. However, with a Neighbourhood Plan the location, style and type of house within Titchfield Boundary Plan area will all be protected.||Without a Neighbourhood Plan any developer may apply to develop land in Titchfield and there will be very few safeguards.|
|The Neighbourhood Plan, if approved at the referendum, will be a legally binding document that sits alongside the Fareham plan. The Council must take 100% of the Plan into consideration regarding any planning decisions for the village||FBC will be free to agree to any development they wish for the village|
|Apart from housing, the Plan is concerned with traffic policies, designed to reduce the impact of traffic so that safety and environmental needs of residents are given priority.|
The Plan is concerned with maintaining this thriving economic community so that we can continue to enjoy the services on offer and at the same time give employment opportunities.
The Plan is concerned to ensure that Titchfield remains a village with an enhanced environment and valued open spaces.
The Plan wants to respect and preserve the history of the area for future generations whilst allowing it to develop gracefully.
|The policies shown in the Plan will have no legal status|
|Policies in all the above are a legal part of the Neighbourhood Plan|
18th July is the date for the referendum. We hope you will vote YES
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the Neighbourhood Plan so here on the website we are trying to put things right.
We have posted:
The Referendum Version of the Neighbourhood Plan, also available to read at Daisey B’s and the Queen’s Head
Summary of the External Examiner’s Report
A map showing the Boundary Plan of the NP area
Some thoughts from others about the Plan
A message from John Hiett, also included in the flyer shortly being sent to you
Plus The FBC timetable for the Referendum
We have now received the following information from FBC which is self-explanatory:
‘The Council are planning to commence consultation on the submission (Regulation 16) Titchfield Neighbourhood Plan (TNP) on Friday, 23rd November 2018 until Friday 11th January 2019. The Council will create a bespoke consultation page on the Fareham Borough Council website, which will include the TNP and supporting documents.
In terms of hard copies of the documents, these will be placed during the consultation in the Council offices, all libraries in the Borough and the Jubilee Surgery. The Council also intend to post hard copies of the consultation on noticeboards in the village.
The Council will formally respond to the submission TNP and it is intended that the comments will be reported at a meeting of the Council’s Executive on the 7th January 2019.’
Now that the Plan is formally submitted to FBC, we thought that some of you might like to read the supporting documents
Condition Statement – an 11 page document providing the legal basis for the Plan
Consultation Statement – a 35 page document providing details of many of the examples of consultation with the public and other relevant bodies
FBC Letter to TNF – This confirms that our document now meets the relevant statutory requirements under regulations 14 and 15(1)(b) of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 and paragraph 1 of Schedule 4B of the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990.
FBC Compliance Check – a table showing how our submission met the legal requirements. It was necessary for us to re-submit the document as we had omitted to include details of the various people, groups and organisations with whom we had consulted. We had the material but had not realised that we were required to document it. We added this material and resubmitted the Plan, which as you will see from the two FBC documents, now meets the legal requirement.
As far as the Posbrook Appeal is concerned, there is nothing more to say on this until the result of the appeal is published, probably in January.
Forum member, David Phelan, attended throughout the recent Posbrook Appeal hearing. He made three presentations and took part in the cross-examination of witnesses. Well done and many thanks for an excellent job David. More information is in this months Newsletter. Ann W
22nd October. We have submitted the Final Version of the Neighbourhood Plan to FBC
The next stage of the process is that FBC will carry out a compliance check of the Plan. Providing the Plan meets all the relevant checks, there will be a further period of public consultation which will be a minimum of 6 weeks.
After this an external independent examiner will evaluate the Plan. The referendum will be at the end of January beginning of February 2019.
Ann Wheal – Chair, Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum
Summary of representation by Foreman Homes and response by Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum
The planning consultants acting for Foreman Homes have made a representation to challenge the proposed Neighbourhood Plan and in support of the Posbrook Planning Application which is subject to appeal.
The main case put forward assumes the Neighbourhood Plan will need to comply with the new National Planning policy Framework which has effect from 24th Jan 2019. This is not the case as the current programme for the NP sees it completed by that date, therefore most of the representation is invalid as the Plan will comply with current guidance.
The representation refers to the Housing Needs Assessment undertaken by AECOM in respect of the NP. There is a suggestion that the housing numbers should be increased in line with the Government’s now proposed housing allocations for the Borough. FBC are challenging these allocations and they are not relevant in respect of the HNA. The 109 recently completed dwellings, referred to in the NP, seem to have been ignored by Foreman Homes.
The representation refers to the Site Assessment prepared by The Forum in respect of the Posbrook Lane site, including adjacent land. This was a site put forward by the landowners under the Call for Land process for the new Local Plan. It was rejected by Fareham in their Draft Local Plan and also by the Forum.
The NP that has been subject to consultation was a Draft. Amendments are currently being made to take account of drafting errors and representations that have been submitted. In addition, detailed representation/comments have been received from FBC. Many of these relate to compliance with current National Planning Guidance and these are being incorporated within the Plan.
The full representation by Foreman homes is available upon application via Titchfield Matters.
Thank you for those who attended yesterday. I am sorry if you came after 8pm but as there was only a small group we had finished all the business by then.
Next Monday, 10th is the last date for us to receive any comments on the Plan. We have already had comments/suggestions from many people, including FBC. However, we have consulted with groups such as Historic England, the Environment Agency, Natural England and both churches. All responses are due by the end of the public consultation period which is 10th September. After that we make the appropriate changes and then submit the Plan to FBC who will send it to the external examiner. Whilst the examiner is considering the Plan, FBC will be organising the referendum which we hope will take place early December.
The existing Plan will be removed from the website on 10th but as soon as a revised version is available this will be posted on the site.
All relevant comments we have received both from the website and the public meetings are being collated, anonymised and made into a file which will be included in our submission to the examiner.
Ann Wheal, Chair, Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum
First of all we would like to thank the Forum for a very comprehensive document that covers all aspects and more in its proposals, however, The Village Trust does have a number of points to make.
Perhaps we can open by quoting from the Department for Communities & Local Government in their guide to neighbourhood Plans.
- A Neighbourhood Plan is about the uses and development of land. It should not promote less development than that identified in the development plan for the local area.
- Often the process of preparing a plan will highlight non- planning issues.
These would not form part of the statutory neighbourhood plan so should not be subject to the independent examination and referendum.
Wider community aspirations than those relating to development and use of land can be included in a neighbourhood plan, but actions dealing with non land use matters should be clearly identifiable. For example, set out in a companion document or annex
- 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), 12 (The Built and Natural Environment), and 13 (Historic Titchfield) fall outside the plans remit, and certainly outside the referendums terms of reference.
Concentrating then on the planning and development.
Our major concern is over paragraph 9.3. This paraphrases the report you commissioned from AECOM which arrived at a figure of 262 dwellings to be built within the Neighbourhood Plan area. Taking into account the Coach and Horses site, The Mitie site, The East St Garage site and the 86 dwellings on the retirement village site off Cartwright Drive this would leave 153 dwellings to be built within the plan period of 16 years. You also state this in your summary para 1.2 “During the lifetime of the plan an average of 10 dwellings a year will be needed”
One does need to raise the question if 10 aren’t built in year 1 does that mean 20 in year 2 etc.etc. until you reach 153 ?
We do note that you state in para 9.6 you are not specifying any sites within this plan.
If these paragraphs remain in the plan they will, if the referendum votes yes, form a central 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.
As things stand within the current draft local plan Fareham has “NO development” planned for Titchfield. You even quote their 2036 plan “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”
You also quote their own Core strategy and Policy CS22 which creates the strategic Meon Gap, which means that proposals for development will not be permitted.
If you are proposing “no development” then surely there is no necessity to hold a referendum on something that is already being proposed by FBC.
At the moment the National Planning Policy Framework 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
Fareham have already decided no development within the Neighbourhood Plan area but have been told by the government they will have to increase their current allocation. The Village Trust Committee do not believe that they should, or in fact will, go back on their commitment to Titchfield. You do, however, seem to be saying there needs to be development.
The Trust fundamentally disagrees.
A few other points outside the referendum agenda but included in the Plan:
Para 4.2 :
It was the Village Trust that asked the Neighbourhood Forum to cease being a sub-committee. Fareham Borough Council, were asking us to alter our constitution in order to fit the Neighbourhood Forum regulations. We felt, more than anything else, we had to remain independent from both local and national government so asked the Forum to leave and go their own way.
“The growth of car ownership has not been offset by any significant increase in parking facilities”
We 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’
”In later years, the Barn was again abandoned and was acquired by FBC in conjunction with the surrounding land”
No. The Barn was owned by Millan Mandaric Holdings and was first leased to The Titchfield Festival Theatre and then sold to them.
The surrounding land, now the new country park, was given to FBC as a gift, being part of the Retirement Village development deal. Something the Village Trust were involved with, and helped bring to fruition, from the start.
Last Consultation Meeting, 4th September 7 – 9 pm in the Studio at Titchfield Festival Theatre.
It will be a chance for everyone to ‘Have their say’.
Having said that, the questions and comments should only be regarding the NP. It cannot be about the process as we have no control over that. Also, only those who live within the NP area may ask questions.
This is the final consultation meeting so I hope it will be useful and also enjoyable.
We have already had comments/suggestions from many people, including FBC. However, we have consulted with groups such as Historic England, the Environment Agency, Natural England and both churches. All responses are due by the end of the public consultation period which is 10th September. After that we make the appropriate changes and then submit the Plan to FBC who will send it to the external examiner. Whilst the examiner is considering the Plan, FBC will be planning for the referendum which we hope will take place early December.
Ann Wheal – Chair.
Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum’s response to Fareham Borough Council’s Statement of Case
Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum (TNF) supports Fareham Borough Council’s Statement against the appeal of Foreman Homes.
We do consider however that the impact on highways has been under estimated. The road infrastructure throughout the village is already under severe pressure serving the local community and this is exacerbated by the additional burden of commuting traffic. All roads into, out of and through the village have restrictions to traffic flow and it is difficult to access the A27 whichever route is chosen and there are significant queues at peak times in a number of locations.
The current difficulties of an already overloaded road infrastructure in Titchfield village centre, Posbrook Lane, and Coach Hill, Common Lane, St. Margarets Lane and Bridge Street which take traffic from the south, would be significantly increased by the additional traffic generated by the large proposed development, which would generate between 730 to 1000 vehicle movements a day.
Posbrook Lane is a narrow country lane, but it already takes a high volume of traffic. It is about 4.4 metres wide in front of the site and on towards the shore, and it has a number of bends, some ‘blind’. It is a commuting ‘rat run’ used by vehicles from and to Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head.
Although Posbrook Lane is subject to width restrictions for through traffic, it is used extensively by very large agriculture vehicles servicing the farmers and growers off and nearby to the Lane.
There are usually several large agricultural vehicle movements a day, such as large tractors with ploughs, drills etc. and sprayers, which are all wide vehicles. Periodically there is a relay of tractors and trailers or tankers for activities such as vegetable harvesting and muck spreading. Often it is necessary for traffic to stop after mounting the pavement or verge to allow very large tractors to pass, with the tractors often drawing trailers or other wide agriculture equipment. Many 18 tonne trucks deliver to and collect from the farms and growers throughout the year.
During the summer in particular, the Lane is very busy with traffic heading to the shore at the Meon outlet, Hill Head and Lee-on-the-Solent, some towing trailers with boats and others with caravans. It is also a busy cycle route.
Parking alongside Bellfield, the cemetery and the allotments cause congestion and there are delays in accessing Coach Hill and turning from Coach Hill into Posbrook Lane.
It should also be noted that at quieter times of the day speeding occurs despite a 30mph speed restriction. Over the years a number of vehicles have ‘lost control’ and ended up in the ditch in front of the proposed site, one of these accidents was quite recent.
The road beyond Posbrook Lane to the shore is narrow, there are lots of bends and there is a single track passing point. Like Posbrook Lane it takes large agriculture machinery and large vehicles servicing the farms and growers and, in the summer especially, takes the heavy traffic flow to the beaches.
As mentioned earlier the roads which would bear the brunt of traffic increases in addition to Posbrook Lane are listed below with some of their inherent difficulties.
Coach Hill. For a busy road it is narrow and in several places, when buses and lorries are passing, cars have to stop to allow this. There is an extremely tight mini-roundabout at the bottom with a road sign indicating that buses will be in the middle of the road, this causes frequent problems. Bollards have been sited at the roundabout to stop vehicles mounting the pavements, which are extremely narrow at this point. It is a busy commuting route
St. Margaret’s Lane. It is narrow, there are business premises which lead to large vehicles and some parking issues. It is a very busy commuting route, exacerbated by cars dropping off and picking up children attending West Hill school. Access to the traffic light controlled roundabout is difficult particularly at peak times as the lanes on the roundabout are full and queues develop in the Lane.
Common Lane. At certain times the road is restricted by vehicles of people who are making road side purchases. It is a busy commuting route and it is also affected by vehicles dropping off and picking up children attending West Hill school. Access to Warsash Road is difficult at peak times particularly for right turns and queues develop. There are also further queues of traffic at the end of Warsash Road waiting to gain access to the roundabout on the A27.
Bridge Street. There are bollards coming out from the mini-roundabout to stop vehicles mounting the pavements. Parking outside the houses results in single file traffic, with the difficulties increased by traffic coming off the mini-roundabout. It has a single track passing point. It is subject to flooding, which sometimes results in a road closure causing widespread difficulties. It is a busy commuting route with queues of traffic along most of its length at peak times waiting access to Stubbington Road via the traffic lights and counter queues at the single track passing point.
South Street. This is the access to the village centre from the south. In its short length it has significant single track passing points and parking which includes large delivery vehicles causing further restrictions. Bollards have been sited along both sides of the Street for most of its length to stop vehicles mounting the footpaths.
In summary we reiterate that the current road infrastructure is already under pressure and that the addition of the traffic generated by the proposed site should not be contemplated.
We also contend that the minor improvement of three road junctions, outlined by the Highways Authority (Hampshire County Council), would not solve the problem that would be created by the additional traffic. It appears that there has been a focus on the new traffic that would be generated and that not sufficient account has been taken of the existing situation with all the difficulties. However it would appear that the proposed road junction measures would help to ameliorate some the current traffic flow difficulties.
Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum’s response to Foreman Homes’s Statement of Case
In their appeal Foreman Homes claim that:
- the site is sustainably located
- there is no material impact on the strategic gap
- there is no unacceptable environmental or highway related issues
- the site is not in a valued landscape
- there is low impact on adjacent listed buildings
- the loss of agricultural land, which is categorised as the best and most versatile, is acceptable in the ‘planning balance’.
We refute all these claims.
However, the main thrust of Foreman Homes’s appeal is based on a technical issue relating to the ‘deliverable housing land over five years’. We consider this to be opportunistic.
Foreman Homes state that FBC has 4.39 years supply of housing land defined against the requirement of 5 years. This is a small difference and in any case we cannot see that there is any impediment to housing development as the Draft Local Plan 2036 identifies many more sites than the 5 year requirement. As we understand the position, FBC has always had a functioning Local Plan and it has reacted speedily to changes in National Planning requirements, but the processes take time. However there is a Draft Local Plan to 2036, which should be used to shape the future.
Furthermore one of FBC’s Key Strategic Priorities, which is listed in the Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment by Urban Edge Environmental Consulting of October 2017, page 20 number 11, is to “Provide for the provision of Neighbourhood Planning in accordance with the Localism Act, other relevant Acts and Regulations”. Titchfield has a Neighbourhood Plan in draft and part of the process of development has involved consultations with residents and others on planning issues, including the provision of new housing. It should be noted that AECOM Housing Needs Assessment prepared for the Neighbourhood Plan shows that the proposed development would vastly exceed the annual need and indeed almost matches the need for the lifetime of the Plan, which is to 2036.
The Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment was produced for the Local Plan to 2036 and it examines various sites for development potential and makes recommendations which have formed the basis of the Local Plan. Appendix G provides the Rationale for Site Selection or Rejection. ID 3102 is this Posbrook Lane site and it is rejected due to high landscape sensitivities and impact to the integrity of the strategic gap. This is a direct contradiction of Foreman Homes’s assertion in their appeal.
Foreman Homes argue that the encroachment into the Strategic Gap is only a small one and it is on the edge of an ‘urban environment’ because it extends the settlement area. We contend that the extension of the settlement area is a ‘big deal’. Strategic gaps have been established to maintain the countryside from settlement areas. We see Foreman Homes’s proposal as a first step of an incremental approach to extend the settlement area. On page 19 of Urban Edge’s Sustainability Appraisal one of the Visions of FBC’s Local Plan 2036 is stated “ Fareham Borough will retain its identity of its individual settlements within the Borough through measures that seek to retain the valued open landscapes and settlement definition. This will preserve one of the many aspects that are good about Fareham.”
On page 20 of the Sustainability Appraisal, Key Strategic Priorities are listed.
-2 Focus development within the urban areas and away from the valued landscapes and spaces that contribute to settlement definition
-9 Protect and enhance the Borough’s landscape features, valued landscape, biodiversity and the local, national and international nature designations
-10 Appropriately manage and protect the Borough’s historical buildings and assets including Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
The importance of the Posbrook Lane site as part of the Meon Valley is supported by the Fareham Landscape Assessment produced by LDA Design dated August 2017, which has also been used in the Local Plan 2036. It states on page 112 that area 6.1b, in which the Posbrook Lane site lies, “is characterised predominately by open, large scale farmland and horticultural uses that are typical of the coastal plain, with some minor variations within pockets of more enclosed pasture land bounded by strong vegetation, a couple of woodland blocks and small scale enclosed tributary valley. This area also notably contains the tree-lined Titchfield Canal running from Titchfield in the north to the Titchfield Haven in the south. The landscape is essentially rural and unspoilt with a sparse road and settlement pattern and no significant detracting influences”. The Foreman Homes’s proposal is completely out of character and would have an extremely adverse effect on a valued landscape.
The Habitats Regulations Assessment by Urban Edge dated September 2017, again used by FBC in the production of the Local Plan 2036, draws attention to sites of international, national and local importance and the impact that development would have. This includes reference on page 19 to the Solent and Southampton Water Special Protection Area (SPA), which relates to birds including internationally important assemblage of wildfowl. This is on the border of the Posbrook Lane site which provides an important area for wildfowl in support of the SPA. The Posbrook Lane site is also an important habitat for the Solent Wader and Brent Goose Strategy 2010 and the Birds Aware initiative. Page 22 of Urban Edge’s report refers to the Solent and Southampton Water RAMSAR site, which is a wetlands site of international importance, this is near to the Posbrook Lane site and page 80 lists likely detrimental effects of development. The Posbrook Lane site falls within the parameters of page 80 but it is not listed because the site had been rejected in the development of the Local Plan 2036.
In addition the Posbrook Lane site is on the border of the Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, which is a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (which also extends further up the Meon Valley towards Titchfield). Development on the Posbrook Lane site would have a serious detrimental effects on this key environmental jewel in Fareham’s landscape. All of the Meon Valley which lies within the Fareham Borough is valued as a very important green space.
All this evidence shows that the Posbrook Lane site is not sustainably located, that housing development would have a significant impact on the strategic gap, that there would be an unacceptable environmental effect and that the site is part of a valued landscape.
Posbrook Lane is a narrow country lane, but it already takes a high volume of traffic. It is a commuting ‘rat run’ used by vehicles from and to Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head.
Although Posbrook Lane is subject to width restrictions for through traffic, it is used extensively by very large agriculture vehicles servicing the farmers and growers off and nearby to the Lane.
There are usually several large agricultural vehicle movements a day, but often there is a relay of tractors and trailers or tankers for activities such as vegetable harvesting and muck spreading. Often it is necessary for traffic to stop after mounting the pavement or verge to allow very large tractors to pass, with the tractors often drawing trailers or other wide agriculture equipment. The addition of approximately 1,000 vehicle movements per day, which we understand one could expect from a development of the size proposed, would add significant additional pressure to an already overloaded road infrastructure. This would occur not only in Posbrook Lane but also in Titchfield village and adjacent lanes, such as St. Margaret’s Lane and Common Lane, as traffic makes its way to and from the A 27.
Therefore we contend that there are unacceptable highway issues relating to the development of the Posbrook Lane site.
There would also be an adverse impact on the two adjacent listed buildings.
In addition high quality agriculture land would be lost with a consequential loss in the community value provided by an open space and aspect which is crossed by two footpaths.
A pdf version of the appeal is here:
NP boundaries and objectives
Following my initial comments after early perusal of the draft plan, upon looking more closely At it I feel that some of the logic utilised in establishing the boundaries would benefit from further explanation.
The relevant appendix states that “Titchfield history and traditions helped plan the boundary”
Titchfield was clearly founded because of it’s association with the sea and remained an important port until the 18th century.
That association continues today through The Haven boat harbour, the nature reserve, a Meon and Brownwich beaches, the cliff walks and other sea related leisure activities, all of which are extremely popular and generate heavy traffic and footfall throughout all seasons.
5.1 of the plan makes reference to “protected public open spaces such as Chilling Woodland, Thatchers copse and The Haven nature reserve forming a distinctive Southern approach to the village”
Furthermore appendix13 makes reference to Meon shore.
I am completely baffled therefore to find that the Southern boundary has been set to run through Triangle Lane which by so doing excludes every one of these highly relevant historic and currently important recreational gems within the parish of Titchfield.
I also wish to point out that although the Western boundary is described as following the line of Brownwich Lane, it does not in fact touch Brownwhich Lane at any point, it being depicted on the map as being considerably further to the West.
Referring now to Posbrook Lane, it is described in the plan as being the cycle route to the beach.
It does not go to the beach, it leads to Triangle Lane which then becomes Meon Rd before reaching the beach.
The real question however is why refer to a cycle route to a location not considered worthy of inclusion within the NP. If it had been included anyone with local knowledge would be aware that the these latter two sections of road constitute the most hazardous thoroughfares for both pedestrians and cyclists within the Parish and should in fact have been considered as part of the plan area for that reason if nothing else.
It is also worth mentioning that probably the most popular PYO strawberry picking region serving the surrounding area is accessed via Posbrook Lane but this also falls outside of the proposed boundary line.
In consideration of the housing policy I note that the forum has recognised that the balance should be redressed between the increasingly aging population of the village, the affordability of existing housing stock and purchase ability of younger people. It is stated that the results of the survey questionnaire would be “a key factor” in formulating a policy to address this problem.
I would be pleased if it could be explained precisely how hiding behind the Fareham Borough proposed local plan has had any benefit whatsoever in this respect.
This is particularly the case now that their own plan has been shot out of the water by recent government intervention.
Surely a positive approach to this by allocating a number of social and low rental type homes within the plan area is the correct solution.
Objection to the forthcoming “Posbrook” appeal would probably have carried more weight had such a proposal been included within the draft NP. As things stand recent events have probably strengthened the developers hand in this respect.
As an officially recognised body the Neighbourhood Forum (TNPF) has submitted what is called a Rule 6 Statement to the Planning Inspectorate and will be represented at the Appeal in November.
This statement is based upon the policies within the Draft Neighbourhood Plan which oppose developments such as the one proposed at Posbrook. The Forum also supports objections made by other individuals or organisations.
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!
I’m re-posting a comment made by Karen Postle a day or so ago.
A hard copy of the Plan is behind the bar in the Queen’s Head for anyone who cannot make any of the open meeting days and times.
Please do not take this copy away – others may wish to read it.
There is also a form for your comments.
It is the most fundamental and least heralded change in local government since the Magna Carta! The government wants local communities to decide their own futures. All over the country hundreds of groups are preparing or have prepared their Neighbourhood Plans.
The idea is simple, but the execution is excruciating. Every community is encouraged to prepare a Plan for the Future. In Titchfield, a committee appointed by invitation of the Titchfield Village Trust asked residents what concerned them – traffic and housing topped the list. They also asked what residents would like to do about it. There followed two and a half years of consultation in myriad forms, until a draft Plan had been prepared under the strictest guidelines. A referendum will follow of the whole village, and hey presto, the next 20 years are set in stone.
The Final Plan will have full legal authority. Planning inspectors quail before it.
It hasn’t been easy. Government guidelines and local authority plans change at the drop of a hat. It’s not a job for the faint-hearted. The Forum (approved by Fareham Borough Council in March 2017) of 25 residents have worked assiduously, and the work is in its final stages.
The Neighbourhood Plan for Titchfield is now in the public consultation stage. Residents have until September 10 to put their views. After that, the revised plan goes to an inspector and then comes the referendum. A simple majority will decide the outcome.
Titchfield (and no doubt many other communities) has considerations which are peculiar to itself. We are a medieval village with narrow streets and no front gardens. Busses trundle four times every hour close to ancient houses with medieval foundations. Houses are too expensive for young people to buy. Infilling has taken up almost all the available space for new housing, and the villagers are anxious to preserve the remaining green spaces – the allotments, the bowling club and the village green for example.
Yet there is a requirement by the government for Titchfield to provide around 180 dwellings in the neighbourhood Plan area by 2036. So, what will happen? The Plan will decide.
I have read the plan from cover to cover. The area under consideration has no legal standing and is an arbitrary line drawn on a map with no executive authority hence all the proposals are fallacious. There is NOTHING in the plan that is not well covered by the Titchfield Village Trust and the capable local councillors.
There has been a waste of public money and this should stop immediately. The latest flyer even had Titchfield spelt incorrectly.
Please Fareham Borough Council, stop this waste of time and money