Last month, the planning committee of Fareham Borough Council granted outline planning permission for Welborne Garden Village, which will see 377 hectares of agricultural land developed to the north of the town.
The proposals, first drawn up by Buckland Developers in 2017, also include detailed plans for the redesign of Junction 10 of the M27, as well as shops and community facilities, employment space, schools, parks and open spaces.
Planning Act 2008
06 Apr 2016
But the garden village would be located near three EU-protected sites, including the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.
In June, the conservation regulator Natural England updated its legal advice relating to a dozen councils in south Hampshire, including Fareham, due to concerns about the persistent high levels of nitrogen in the Solent. The councils have a statutory duty to take steps to stop such areas from deteriorating under the Habitats Directive and put plans in place to reverse this, Natural England said.
According to the developer’s appropriate assessment, carried out by the Holbury Consultancy Service, any damage to the sites would be “either avoided or fully mitigated.”
The report adds that, “[w]here adequate mitigation or avoidance measures cannot be achieved on or adjoining the site through the provision of suitable areas of natural greenspace, Fareham Borough Council will require a financial contribution to provide off-site mitigation measures to ensure that the tests of the habitats regulations assessment are met”.
In September, Fareham Borough Council adopted a range of proposals to deal with the nitrates issue, from creating new wetland and marine habitat to setting up a voluntary scheme helping farmers to apply less fertiliser on their fields. It also suggested developers could contribute funding for Southern Water to upgrade its Peel Common water treatment works, which lies within the county.
Councillor Nick Walker, chairman of the planning committee, said: “This is by far the largest planning application the committee has ever considered. We have carefully looked at the proposals and believe the development will play a crucial part in delivering much needed new homes for the borough, in a desirable new setting.”
Buckland Developments said the first homes could be occupied by the end of 2021.
To view the planning application in full click here. Planning Ref: P/17/0266/OA