Sgt Mark Lamper introduced himself and spoke about redeploying staff as appropriate to meet cuts.
Stated that crime has drastically reduced in Portchester. They have been organising dedicated patrols because of the lighter evenings and consequently more children being out.
Regarding the numerous amount of thefts from shops in Portchester and Fareham – a person has been convicted.
Police have been setting out their priorities following residents responses to surveys. Vehicular related nuisance, and burglaries are being covered.
Have been told Fareham were putting lots of speeding signs on the roadway to show what speed you are going at but haven't seen them. Are they available? Setting up speed monitoring devices in the community but will ask for portable signs to be put in locations on request.
Can you tell me what the law is regarding people half on and half off the pavement? It is not an offence to park on a pavement but it is an offence to block the highway. If you can't get a wheelchair or pushchair past then it's an offence. Police have had their powers taken away over parking. If a vehicle is left dangerously then we can get it removed other wise it is down to the council deal with it.
We have just moved back to Portchester from Portsmouth and feel there is an issue with speed. Would police support a 20mph limit in Portchester? Have to get a speed assessment. That's down to the road safety unit to look at and come back to us. I'm in no doubt that people speed here. It needs to be assessed. If we think it is dangerous we would support it.
Could you please look at the problem we have at the Windmill Road distribution centre and woods at the back. Friday nights youths drinking and taking drugs. Will be starting patrols on Friday nights in the next few weeks so will highlight this to patrols. Any reports of ASB will be followed up.
Council Leader, Cllr SeánWoodward, gave a presentation about what had happened in the Borough of Fareham last year, and what is coming up in the next twelve months.
Lee Smith, Head of Planning at FBC also gave an update on the planning applications for a Lidl foodstore at the Castle Trading Estate and for 135 new homes on the land north of Cranleigh Road.
View the slides for the presentation here.
Has there been a planning application for the Windmill Distribution Centre referred to earlier? A planning application has been received in the past. Planning tried to renegotiate designs with Barratts but they walked away. Planning have been talking to the owner who is interested in residential but haven't yet come back with a viable scheme.
Understood that Coop said if Lidl come to Portchester they will withdraw. Do you care or are you being bribed? We are trying to gauge whether people will still use the centre.
Cranleigh Road development – I live overlooking this and several years ago we have been through this before. Must cost a fortune to go through all this planning before you make decisions. Why can't we say to developers it's countryside, don't bother, you won't win. Problem is anyone can put an application in anywhere—everyone has that right.
Why can't council buy the land and turn it into allotments? The owner has hope value for the site which could not expect to be paid by the council.
I have attended a lot of these meetings and we were told categorically in this hall that there would be no accepting of planning applications until 2020. I can only repeat what I have said that the council is powerless to stop people putting planning applications in. The way the planning system works in this country is that every application gets automatic permission unless we have a good reason to refuse it. Clarified that the site was countryside not brownfield, and therefore has the most important status.
Re the Windmill Road site distribution centre. Seems developers are not interested in protecting the sea wall which is getting worse and worse. Why are we inviting developers to come in and build houses when there is no protection for the sea wall? Two things to try and touch on – wider flood defences. Other thing is if he builds on it then it won't cause a problem for existing properties.
If developer has acknowledged the flood risk, why isn't the Council looking at protecting existing homes? The way it works is you can only take money off developers to mitigate any difficulties that arise as a result.
You signed off recently the sea defence strategy for the area, the year 2030 for Portchester is the critical one. Is there anything the council can do to bring this forward? In an ideal world we would but we have to find the funding to do this. The funding from Trafalgar Wharf will be coming in first .
You were on the television and in the press for months saying if you got Welborne you wouldn't need anything else. There is still other development which has planning permission in the Borough which will take place however Welborne will cater for most of Fareham's housing need for many years to come. We can not however prevent the submission of other planning applications. We can only refuse them when they are contrary to policy then fight the appeals if they happen.
You keep talking about affordable homes – what is affordable? The specific definition is housing built for rent, generally owned by housing association and it is housing where the rent you pay is less than you would pay in the private sector. Or shared equity – part buy and part rent. Affordable is different tenures of housing where rent is lower than the private sector.
Will there be affordable housing at Welborne? 30% of houses built will be affordable housing. 1,357 households are on our housing waiting list at the moment. Welborne will provide 1800 over the next 20 years or so but we need more in the meantime due to families splitting up and people living longer. There is a bigger proportion of owner-occupied housing in Fareham than any other town – good news for owners but not so good for those needing housing.
Now that Cranleigh Road is firmly designated as countryside, what about other sites in Portchester like along the coast? What we do know is that any sites that have been previously developed can be redeveloped. If they are open fields designated as countryside then in principle, planning application would be denied. We have maximum protection whereas Eastleigh has the minimum as they don't have a Local Plan.
Would you consider putting up Council Tax in order to sort out the flooding around Portchester? Once the 1% grant from central government stops we may have to increase council tax but flood defences aren't paid for by local council tax.
Gosport comes to a halt and still we are planning more homes – how are we supposed to get to work on time? Gosport Road is like a car park. There are about £90m of road improvements in line. Our plan is to uncork the bottlenecks. A32 is a problem that has gone on for generations. Creating jobs near where people live is the best answer. Plans are there to improve public transport – just need money to develop them.