£4.2m development approved – Ignores Needs Of Locals


https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/controversial-ps42m-housing-development-portsmouth-gets-go-ahead-2951117

Yet another development goes ahead, driving rough shod over the needs of, and ignoring the existing issues that plague, the local residents.

Proposals for 16 affordable homes, comprising 7 houses and 9 flats, to be built on the corner of Doyle Avenue and Nothern Parade in Hilsea.

16 homes, but with parking provision for only 12 cars. According to the councils own standards the site should provide 29 parking spaces, yet they approved this much reduced proposal.

Why ? Why have guidelines if you don’t stick to them ?

“The surrounding roads are past saturation point as confirmed by the highways engineer. Evenings and weekends are dire as people are parking illegally” So says Janet Rennell-Smith, a local resident from nearby Westwood Road.

Lib Dem Councillor Lee Hunt, not missing an opportunity for a dig at the current Conservative Government, said “The city council is under huge pressure from the Conservative government to build 12,000 new units of accomodation in or city and that’s what we’re trying to acheive”

Typical blame game from the Lib Dems, sounds like our honorable councillor is saying “It’s not our fault, we were just following orders”

Tory Councillor, Terry Norton, was at least prepared to stand up to all that “pressure” and requested that the proposal be rejected.

This is typical of the local councils, in this area, who crumble and give in to the all powerful developers rather that standing firm and considering the needs of their constituents, the folks that voted them into office in the first place.

Our councillors should be forcing developers to provide adequate parking for any new development and to ensure that any such development does not exacerbate any existing issues.

Portsmouth is an island city so is cannot expand past its coastal border. Any development that provides an increase residential units will always add to the traffic and the need for parking. Portsmouth is already blighted by a lack of available parking. Many folks cannot park outside their own homes, typically ending up several streets away. Portsmoth council has also created further parking issues after closing roads in Southsea, supposedly to protect people exercising during the pandemic lockdown.

This new development will only aggravate an already fractious situaion.

South Parade Pier At Risk


South Parade Pier’s owners face liquidation over unpaid energy bills. The danger is if the owners of the pier have to close it down due to lack of income then the real rot will set in. All the while the pier is in active use there is a chance for it to be maintained and refurbished. As soon as the usage declines then so does the state of repair.

Everyone knows that these structures are expensive to maintain due to the harsh, salty and damp environment that they are in. There must be an argument for Portsmouth City Council or even Hampshire County Council stepping in and providing some degree of subsidy to ensure that South Parade Pier doesn’t go the way of Hastings and Brighton piers.

Seaside piers are part of our heritage. Many have succumbed to extreme weather, arsonists and old age. We almost lost South Parade Pier a few years ago, no thanks to Ken Russel and his crew who were filming Tommy at the time. We don’t want that to happen again.

Its time for local government or even national government to step in.

South Parade Pier’s owners face liquidation over unpaid energy bills – Local Business – Portsmouth News.

Dunsbury Hill Farm – New Development Proposal Affects on Waterlooville


Today I received a letter from HBC (Havant Borough Council) pertaining to the proposed development of the Dunsbury Hill Farm site, adjacent to the A3(M).

The description of the development is as follows:

Site Address: Dunsbury Hill Farm, Park Lane, Cowplain, Waterlooville

Proposed Development: Hybrid planning application comprising a part outline application relating to employment uses and a hotel with conference  facilities and a part detailed application for a new link road with bus gate to Woolston Road; together with landscaping, infrastructure and associated works.

I am sure that they don’t intend to hide what this development really means but on first reading I was quite happy to go along with it. After all a new hotel and conference centre would not increase the daily traffic levels and road traffic noise. The additional employment opportunities that this would bring is also to welcomed.

However, without reading the actual proposal one is not likely to see what this really is. In their own words …

… proposed development of agricultural land at Dunsbury Hill Farm, Havant into a business and technology park with hotel, conference facilities and associated infrastructure

The  development proposal includes the creation of a new roundabout and potential dualling of a section of the Hulbert Road. In addition there are plans to create a new parking area double the area of the current lay-bys this development will replace. All of this is an indication of the increased traffic that the developers are anticipating.
I have lived in this area since 1985. The survey that I had on my house at the time carries a final comment

shame about the noise from the motorway

Over the years  I have become aware of the increasing noise levels and the changing nature of the noise. Waterlooville, specifically Junction 3 (J3), the junction of the B2150 with the A3(M),  has become something of a hub for the emergency services. As a result anyone living near to this junction will have noticed the increased siren activity. If recent news articles are to be believed the newly opened Hindhead Tunnel is also contributing to increased noise levels along the A3(M) due to heavy goods traffic choosing the A3(M) in preference to the M3 now that the Hindhead traffic jams have been eliminated.
The application pack includes  tables indicating noise levels. The constant theme running through the comments section is

A3 constant and dominant.

What is wrong with these tables is that they are taking noise level reading from a point on the centre line of the A3(M) into the development area and on into Calshot Road & Park Lane areas of Leigh Park. No measurements seem to have been taken from the Waterlooville side of the A3(M).

Yet this is the area that will probably be most affected by the additional traffic generated by the new development.

The location of this new development makes total sense when you consider the easy access to the motorway. Allowing traffic to clear the area very quickly.  However, the very fact that all that traffic will be coming and going via J3 of the A3(M) is going to have a negative effect on the area.

Presumably the planners are thinking that this new development will provide jobs for the soon to be residents of the Berewood (ex Newlands) development on the opposite side of Waterlooville. Did they also consider the additional traffic that will inexorably be sucked across the town ? Such traffic will also be using the J3 roundabout.

I also have other questions, ones that I have asked in other of my posts …

  1. Are there any potential tenants who have committed to take up residence of these new units when they are built ?
  2. Has a major hotel chain registered any interest in running this proposed hotel and conference centre ?
  3. Was the land adjacent to Junction 2, Horndean, considered as the site for this development ? If it was, why was it rejected since there is less potential for affecting local residents and the motorway access is just as good ?I am assuming that the answer is that the land comes under East Hampshire District Council rather than Portsmouth City Council.

I am the first to bemoan the fact that the planners don’t seem to have done much to provide employment for the residents of Waterlooville. So I am loath to be totally negative about this proposed development. However, I don’t believe that the planners have got the true measure of the impact that this development will have.

As usual the only people who will truly gain from this are the developers and, for a short while, the folks employed to carry out the construction.