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CAT Meeting Questions and Answers

Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Seán Woodward

18 July 2023 - Titchfield Community Centre 

Q: Affordable Housing - are there any local future developments planned to help young people to get on the housing ladder and to help them stay in the area they have grown up in?

A: There is not much we can do with existing housing. With regards to future developments, 40% is allocated for affordable housing such as intermediate rent, social housing and shared ownership housing. Further information about the Council's affordable home ownership register can be found here.

Q: With the constant building everywhere, the green belt will soon be gone. How long until we start saying no to developments?

A: Fareham is 38% built on. The now adopted Local Plan PDF (19 MB) holds all the information about future development sites and the strategic gaps in Fareham. The Meon Strategic Gap will not be built on.

Q: What is happening with the Lee-on-the-Solent/Daedalus development?

A: Gosport Borough Council received a planning application in February this year as part of the Solent Enterprise Zone development, details can be found here External Hyperlink.

Q: On land owned by the Council in the town centre, can we start building more homes? Possibility of building up instead of out?

A: The presentation given earlier explains what the Council is doing with regards to social housing and that we are now building additional Council houses. With regards to the Town Centre, we own the land where Fareham Shopping Centre is but not the actual precinct and the majority of the second level is now derelict. In the Local Plan, approximately 684 homes are identified for specified brownfield sites and/or regeneration opportunities in the Fareham Town Centre.

29 June 2023 - Fareham Academy

Q: Why is the slipway opposite the hovercraft in Lee on Solent closed?

A: Homes England closed it for commercial reasons. Gosport Borough Council received a planning application in February this year as part of the Solent Enterprise Zone development, details can be found here  [External Hyperlink] .

Q: On the Quay Street roundabout, there are two lanes from the Portland Way exit, can this be increased to three lanes to stop cars blocking the roundabout?

A: Suggestion noted and will be passed to Hampshire County Council Highways.

Q: There are lots of weeds on the pavements and roads, when are they going to be cleared?

A: Hampshire County Council Highways are responsible for weed control. This is done once a year and is due to be done in Fareham in August.

Q: I have been coming to Community Action Team (CAT) Meetings for a long time and this is the lowest attendance I have seen. Have the other meetings held this year also been low attendance?

A: Our CAT meetings about hot topics still remain popular. We also continue to have the e- panel where residents can sign up and be notified about online consultations and surveys.

Q: Concerns about the public transport situation in the west end of Fareham in the evenings. With regards to the planning application at Longfield Avenue, it is suggested that people walk from the proposed new estate to Redlands Lane to use the e-service buses. Could one of these buses change direction and not go down Redlands Lane but go up by the college in evenings, to Broadlaw Walk and up to the proposed new estate and then along back to St Michaels Grove, with a new bus stop outside St Michaels Church?

A: There is a current planning application from Hallam Land Management for a development at Longfield Avenue and it is still under consideration. Please comment on the application to suggest that the developer improves the bus transport proposals.

Q: Have you checked the suitability of the name Welborne?

A : There is another Welborne already in the country. Not aware of any unpleasant associations with the name Welborne.

27 June 2023 - Sarisbury Green Community Centre

Q         Could you provide an update following the incident at the War Memorial please?

A         The individual responsible has been identified, and we are in contact with them and their insurance provider.  Specialist work will be needed to ensure that the Memorial and surrounding area is fixed appropriately.  We will ensure that this is completed in time for Armistice Day.

Q         I notice another bank is closing in Park Gate – a lot of these spaces remain empty.

A         There are several properties to let along Middle Road, but they will be successfully let in time.  Some new food and drink outlets have opened in Middle Road recently.

Q         There is a noticeable problem with rats on the northern side of the Locks Heath Centre.  Can that be monitored and managed?

A         Please let the Council Enforcement team know and they can visit the site.  There is a need to treat the cause – fly tipping, food waste, etc – as well as the problem.  Councillor Bayford was able to confirm to the meeting that she had met with the Senior Enforcement Officer on site earlier today to discuss the issue.

Q         Can you provide an update on the work at Whiteley Way please?

A         The last estimate was that the route from Curbridge through to Tesco would open by 30 June.  This has been delayed and work is likely to continue until Christmas.

14 June 2023 - Holy Rood Church, Stubbington

Q       Could you confirm who is responsible for road sweeping in the Borough?

A        Hampshire County Council are responsible for highways in the Borough, but road sweeping is outsourced to district councils.  There is a set programme for how frequently HCC requires sweeping to be done which the Council adheres to.  Please speak to a local councillor who can raise your concerns directly with HCC.

Q        Could you provide some more information on Action Hampshire?

A        Action Hampshire are an umbrella organisation who provide information and support to community groups on a range of areas.  They work in a similar way to Community First.  There are several organisations who can provide support and advice to community groups in the Borough.  This is the webpage providing information on the community support available.

Q       Could you provide an update on the Hallam Land Management planning application?

A        This is an application for 1250 homes on land at Newlands Farm, immediately south of Longfield Avenue.  The planning application in currently undetermined, pending the resubmission of an amended application in line with the Borough Local Plan.

Q       What is the Council proposing to do to support the revival of Fareham town centre?

A        The Council recognises that people shop differently now, and that successful town centres now have a focus on leisure opportunities rather than retail.  Fareham Live is currently in development, due to open early next year, and new car parking is planned.  The Council run a regular events programme which encourages people into the town centre.  Fareham town centre also offers bowling and a cinema, whilst retaining a row of independent traders along west street running down to train station.  The Council wants to do more and is currently putting together a masterplan for town centre.  This includes a plan for 630 new homes which will help vibrancy in the town centre, ensuring it does not empty at 5pm.

Q       Fareham used to have country market and WI market once a month – can we bring back more of these regular events to bring people in and to increase footfall?

A        We are not charging for events which we are letting happen.  For example, we have recently introduced an artisan market.  Although this was initially on a small scale, it will increase in size as it becomes more established.  We have been unable to identify a farmers market company to run in Fareham.

Q       Evening activities in Fareham are fine, but can buses run later so people can get home?

A        Providers are not allowed to run a service at a loss, and Hampshire County Council subsidies have been - and to continue to be - reduced.  We can encourage bus operators to trial a service, but if they are not profitable, they can't remain.  Fareham is fortunate to be served by Eclipse bus which is one of most successful bus services.  The Council do not charge for car parking in the evenings to help the town centre evening economy. 

Q       Since charges were introduced to park on the High Street we no longer visit and shop.

A        Hampshire County Council introduced on-street charging, with Fareham Borough Council strongly objecting.  The Council have committed to keeping parking at district centres free.

6 June 2023 - Portchester Parish Hall

Q: The coastal path sign by Portchester Castle has been ripped out. This was reported on 26 May 2023, but not yet fixed. When are the team likely to fix this?

A: Local Councillors have also reported this and will follow up.

Q: The access road to Assheton Court is very narrow, how will trucks be able to navigate that? Concern during redevelopment work but also when work has been completed.

A: A design Access statement will have been submitted as part of planning application. Councillors can support you to access that information if needed. 

Q: Osborn Road car park – the car park currently has 60 allocated disabled parking spaces, but the new surface car park only has provision for seven. Where will rest go?

A: There are a number of other car parks which offer allocated disabled parking spaces. If you are a blue badge holder, you can park free in all pay and display car parks (including coastal car parks) by displaying your badge in your parked vehicle, with the valid serial number and expiry date clearly visible. Pay on foot car parks (the current Osborn Road multi-storey, Fareham Shopping Centre multi-storey and Mark Quay) are only free to Blue Badge holders who are resident in the Borough of Fareham and have applied for free parking. All spaces in the new Osborn Road car park will be a lot bigger and more accessible than in the existing car park. 

Q: Parking charges at Wicor Rec – how did the idea of it as a coastal car park come up when no safe access to coast from Wicor, and will lighting be installed?

A: The coast is clearly visible and can be accessed from Wicor. The decision has been made to designate Wicor as a coastal car park and introduce charging, but the decision over tariff levels is yet to be made. There is currently no intention to install lighting at the car park.

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