Locks Heath housing estate plan refused

A plan for 206 houses on a derelict site in Locks Heath has been refused for not providing adequate affordable housing.

An aerial view of the Peters Road site application that was refused

An aerial view of the Peters Road site application that was refused

Developers Taylor Wimpey and Bovis applied to Fareham Borough Council to build on land to the south of Peters Road with a new vehicle and pedestrian access, associated parking and open space.

Despite a council planning officer’s report recommending the plans should be approved, councillors unanimously refused permission because the developers would not provide the £3,638,768 payment towards education, infrastructure and sports facilities.

The builders told the council the suggested contribution along with the requirement to make 40 per cent of the new homes affordable would make the scheme unviable and they would not proceed.

Councillor Brian Bayford, who represents the Park Gate ward where the site is located, said: “It was refused on the grounds of design, affordability and the viability of it.

“They were not intending to give any money towards affordable homes and infrastructure.

“I was unhappy with the number of three storey buildings on the site. I didn’t like the design of some of them – they didn’t have nice backdrops. To be honest they looked a bit bland.

Peters Road site plan - the coloured land to be developed by Taylor Wimpey and Bovis was refused

Peters Road site plan – the coloured land to be developed by Taylor Wimpey and Bovis was refused

“We have a policy at the council that we would like developers to provide 40 per cent of the buildings or bedrooms as affordable.

“They were only going to give 27 per cent, which I thought wasn’t good enough.

“I wasn’t in any way happy they wanted to provide much less than half the contribution funds for infrastructure and road improvements.”

The application would have had the main access to the site on Lockswood Road, with emergency vehicle access routes through an adjoining development for 49 dwellings – which has already been given permission – and directly onto Peters Road.

The proposed homes were to be a mix of two and three storey buildings and a combination of 129 houses and 77 flats – which included affordable housing.

Nearby residents objected to the latest proposals on the 6.33 hectare land concerned about the size of the development, the impact on traffic and wildlife and loss of privacy. They felt there would be a need for a second road to access the site.

Councillor Bayford added: “The developers weren’t very happy. It was interesting that one resident said if the developers don’t get what they want then perhaps they won’t develop on it. So if that were the case the residents would probably be very happy with that solution.

“It’s going to be developed one day, but until we get it exactly right then nothing is going to be developed there.

“They will go away and come back with some slightly revised plans and try to negotiate differently on the questions of viability, affordable housing and infrastructure.”

The application site includes areas of derelict glasshouses and a number of abandoned outbuildings, as well as a mix of field boundaries and wooded areas as well as hedgerows that criss-cross the site.

The site has been earmarked for housing as part of the council’s local plan – the document that sets out guidelines for the future of the borough. A number of applications have been made over the past 15 years.

Permission was granted for 307 homes on a larger part of the site in November 2008, but has not yet been developed. The permission will expire later this year unless work begins soon.

The developers were unavailable for comment.


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3 Responses to Locks Heath housing estate plan refused

  1. M Britton

    April 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    New community swimming pool site ?

  2. hazel Fotheringham

    April 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that this development is not going ahead at the moment but i’m sure it will rear its ugly head again in the near future. It’s a shame that whole area can’t be made into a proper nature reserve as all the wildlife in this area is being pushed and pushed into ever smaller areas and will end up dying out altogether. We need more green open spaces not even more housing causing even more traffic chaos and pressure on local schools, doctors, dentists etc

  3. Clive wilson

    April 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Well done FBC for refusing this development. This area is already awash with homes, traffic etc and more homes would place a massive burden on the shrinking services we already have. The local doctor’s surgery has already disappeared.
    We need green sites in the area as per the previous comment and wouldn’t part of this site be ideal for the new swimming pool and leisure services rather than more bland concrete?