5-7 East street, the missing piece in the jigsaw

The missing piece in the East Street development jigsaw seems to have been found under the sofa.

APP/20/00936 | Erection of 4 storey residential building comprising of 1 No one bed apartment and 7 No two bed apartments. | 5-7 East Street, Havant, PO9 1AA

To make a comment on this application, please see the link at the bottom of this page.

This recently submitted planning application is actually a re-hash of earlier plans for the site. What’s changed is that the plot is now under the control of the same developer as the other three applications currently out for consultation. The appearance of these four planning applications in the space of as many weeks leaves us cautiously optimistic that we could be on the verge of a positive improvement to the East Street scene. Certainly, these four developments could only really be developed ‘in one hit’ given the restricted access to construction traffic.

5-7 is the left hand building in this set of four. Out of shot to the left is the Havant Club, an existing four storey building and to its left, the former White Hart. Number 9 and the last behind number 11 (Streets) are the subject of our previous post.

It does appear from this current application that this latest version of the proposed frontage of 5-7 has been dumbed down slightly from previous incarnations of the drawing. We will be keeping a close eye on the detail treatment of all of the frontages to East Street developments to ensure that the character of the street scene is enhanced and maintained.

The internal layout comprises seven 2 bedroom flats and 1 single bedroom flat of relatively modest proportions.

No parking is available, just space for 15 cycles with 4 ‘visitor’ cycle racks. The four storeys are laid out as shown here, with the ground floor on the left and third floor on the right.

Seven two-bedroom flats with a single one-bedroom flat at the back on the ground floor. A ‘light well’ drops down through from the roof level to provide natural daylight to the seven otherwise internal second bedrooms. The ground floor two bed flat benefits (?!) from having access from its second bedroom to the tiny courtyard at the bottom of this light well. (Just how they manage to make that bedroom not appear like a prison cell remains to be seen. Doubtless an imaginative estate agent will come up with a suitable marketing message.)

Do you want to make a comment on this planning application?

To submit comments on this planning application, please take this link and enter them online. Remember, just before the box in which you enter your comments, there is an option to select whether you ‘Object’, ‘Support’ or are ‘Neutral’ to the application. Please make sure you check the option which reflects your view.

You have until Friday 27 November to submit your comments.

#rethinkhavant

Consultation on changes to the pre-submission local plan is available for comment until December 17

The following video provides a useful (?) introduction to what is required of you here:

Since the consultation on the Pre-Submission Plan at the beginning of 2019, Havant Borough Council have made a number of changes to the Plan which are now subject to public consultation. The consultation will mean that a consolidated plan can then be submitted for the independent inspector to consider.

This consultation is focused on the changes, particularly those more significant ones which are marked up with an arrow and reference number within the consultation version of the plan.

To read the details on the council’s website, including the links to the documentation and guidance on how to submit responses, please take this link.

Portsmouth Water submit planning application for Havant Thicket

Portsmouth Water have now submitted their planning applications for the new reservoir at Havant Thicket, see the promotional video below:

Portsmouth Water promotional video

For further details, please refer to Portsmouth Water at this link.

Once the planning application is lodged and accepted by the council, we’ll update this website with the details for you to see and comment on.

‘Development Management’ through the looking glass.

Updated – 31-10-2020 – To add reference to the letter from Barratt

Last night’s Development Management Committee meeting was a good opportunity for our members and friends to embrace HBC’s new digital first mode of operation and watch the workings of local government. If you didn’t manage to watch it, don’t worry, you can catch it up here.

On the agenda was a contentious application to build 195 houses on land off Sinah Lane, Hayling Island.

As you can see, local opinion has been divided with just one responding ‘for’ and five hundred and forty four responding ‘against’.

Let’s first listen to the Chairman’s opening remarks by clicking the video extract, below. Pay particular attention to the bit at the end when she says:

“If at any point a member loses their connection, I shall adjourn the meeting for a short period to allow them to reconnect. As a reminder, if a member is not present for the whole duration of the item, they are precluded from voting

If you choose not to watch anything else, just skip to the bottom and spare the time for the last clip.

A little later on, it seems increasingly obvious that some of the members were having difficulty keeping up with the proceedings. (You might want to draw your own conclusions about whether they were all ‘present for the whole duration’.)

Have a listen to this next video extract. We say listen, because the council still haven’t fully embraced their new digital first approach to public engagement and started to use their cameras.

After that rather chaotic interlude, we come to the real stars of the show, the deputees who clearly show the way by fully embracing the new digital first engagement approach.

There then follows ‘the debate’. Now we’ve commented on the council’s interpretation of the word ‘debate’ before, so rather than repeat ourselves, you might as well watch listen to it yourselves here:

Given the divided public opinion, you might forgive yourselves for having guessed that the result might go against the public’s opinion, but you still might like to question whether the Chairman’s opening remarks had been followed to the letter?

Addendum

The elephant in the room here of course is the letter from Barratt with its documentation of their side of the story. The fear of central government that haunts this current crop of Councillors shouldn’t really be a surprise to those who put them there.

A tale of three councillors

If you watch nothing else, watch this next clip and listen to the commendable intervention by Cllr Lloyd as the Chairman is pressing for the vote. The Chairman’s initial response speaks volumes too.

If you want to listen to the whole debate, unedited, you could wait until the council publish it on their website. Alternatively, you could ‘binge watch’ it here:

Episode 1
Episode 2

#rethinkhavant #digitalfirst

New and revised applications linking East Street to The Pallant

Updated 29/10/2020 – Clarification of ‘supported living‘ application.

Just like buses, planning applications sometimes come in threes. One last week and two this week are worth considering together since between them they cover the missing link between the derelict frontages in East Street and the derelict frontage in the Pallant.

The common factors here are the local architect Peter Galloway Partnership, a practice which has clearly been busy over the last few weeks and months and the developer, which is ‘P & N Developments and Investments‘, operating under different company names from their Penner Road address.

Since there are rather a lot of drawings to look at, we’ve pulled out some of the details in this post.

While outside taking these rather badly stitched pictures in the rain this morning, I got talking with a local property owner whose vision had once been to convert this gap into “something attractive like ‘The Lanes at Brighton'”. Now that’s not really so very far fetched as an aspiration.

Sadly, in these sad days of ludicrous government housing targets and rather myopic local authorities, a few more ‘not quite’ shoe-box homes is what you’re inevitably going to see here.

Two more of the long running eyesore gaps in our town centre frontages, on the left, in East street, and on the right, in the Pallant, are the subject of three planning applications lodged in the past week.

On the slide below, East Street is on the left and the Pallant is on the right. The three numbered red rectangles show the rough site of each application which we’ll look at in turn, from right to left starting in the Pallant.

Application 1

The first application, APP/20/00913 is for “Demolition of existing buildings in a conservation area and erection of 2 No. 3 bed houses, 1 No. 1 bed apartment and 1 No. 2 bed maisonette.”

This includes demolition of the old Prince George Gallery, the single story picture framing studio and the former Streets kitchenware shop to its left. In their place, providing an entrance to the rest of the site, is this proposed frontage.

It looks tidy enough and the layout shown here shows two end-terrace houses joined by a ground floor flat and a 2 bed maisonette over three floors. In these drawings, The Pallant is on the right hand side, with the properties behind the frontage accessed via the arch beneath the ‘Guest bedroom’ on the first floor. Click the image to view larger.

Since it’s likely that vehicle access to all three of these developments will be via The Pallant, traffic in that road will increase very slightly. We say slightly, because there are only 4 parking spaces available for the twenty housing units proposed. Most residents are assumed to be using bicycles, buses or Shanks’ pony.

Construction traffic will prove to be a temporary issue, though it’s possible that much of the heavy delivery loads could be craned over from the Bear Hotel car park.

To view the main drawing as a PDF file, please take this link.

Take this link to view the full details of this application on the HBC Planning access site.

To comment on this application, take this link. You have until Friday November 13 to submit your comments.

Application 2

APP/20/00935 –  Erection of 6 No. 3 bed dwellings, with 4 No. car parking spaces at 11 East Street.

The second application is for a row of 6 town houses, with three bedrooms each and sharing just four car parking spaces. These houses will be accessed via the arch at The Pallant from the previous application.

It’s not clear why Peter Galloway has shown these frontages with six synchronised dancers on the doorsteps, but hey, we’ll call it ‘architectural licence’.

These frontages face west, with the backs of the properties overlooking the wall into the Bear Hotel car park. To all intents and purposes, unless you go through the archway in The Pallant, which I suspect will be gated, you’ll never actually see these townhouses.

Click the image to view the floorplans a little larger. Suffice to say, at 90m2 for a three bed, three story town house, they are perhaps a little cosy.

To view the larger drawing, including the other elevations, please take this link.

Take this link to view the details of this application on the HBC Planning access site.

To comment on this application, take this link. You have until Friday November 20 to submit your comments.

Application 3

APP/20/00933 – Demolition of existing retail unit (no. 9 East Street) and construction of 10 no. supported living units, use Class C2, 9 East Street

The last application, fronting East Street, is for number 9 East Street – the frontage adjoining Streets, in the middle of this drawing.

Use class C2 is for a ‘Residential Institution’ and looking at the Developer‘s company records, we assume that the operator is likely to be Dolphin Homes, registered as providing support for residents with ‘learning difficulties, challenging behaviour, physical disabilities and complex health needs, autism and Asperger’s syndrome’ who already run other properties in the area.

While the need for this type of ‘care in the community’ is not disputed, individual residents will have their own views on whether or not this is the best use for what should be a prime town centre property or whether, indeed, it’s the most appropriate location for the intended residents themselves. Within Havant Borough, Havant town already provides a fair share of such facilities and perhaps now other towns within the borough ought to be stepping up to the plate.

Supported Living flats, 9 East Street

The ten flats are spread across four floors, with associated support offices, visitor accommodation and shared social areas. Click on the floor plans to zoom in to the detail.

Take this link to view the details of this application on the HBC Planning access site.

To comment on this application, take this link. You have until Friday November 20 to submit your comments.

As a last word to the applicant, since Nitrate Calculations are now the ‘flavour of the month‘, a little more attention to detail might be good. We’d also question the maths. Surely, given the fact that half of these are single bedroom flats, the average population of all twenty of these housing units can’t really be 2.4? Oh, and your use of ‘Comic Sans’ as a font hasn’t gone unnoticed. Perhaps this is just your way of suggesting that this nitrate mitigation approach is, after all, a bit of a joke?!

(Yes, I know the next image is a repeat, but it’s only here because the default image that Facebook picks up is the last one in the post. Sigh…..)

Havant’s ‘Healthy Borough’ or Fortitudo’s ‘Healthy Profit’?

We’ve been looking a little harder at the old Southern Electric site on the corner of Petersfield Road and Bartons Road.

Poole based developer Fortitudo Properties, have their sights set on building another McDonalds and another Costa Coffee on what really ought to be a northern gateway to Havant Town Centre.

It seems that even before they applied for planning permission for the container stack on the site, they had already agreed a new 25 year lease with McDonalds at a rental of £105,000 per year. With Costa, they’d already agreed a 15 year lease at £78,000 a year. At the same time, they’ve offered both companies a 6 month rent free period as an incentive.

It looks like they’ll also be offering the buyers of the flats £500 towards their legal fees and a £1,000 John Lewis or IKEA voucher.

If you’re wondering where this comes from, it’s buried in the ‘Viability Assessment‘ accompanying the planning application, the best bits of which you can read here)

Now given that there are already two McDonalds within healthy walking distance, 38 minutes to Larchwood Road and 26 minutes to West Street according to Google, we hope that HBC will take note of what they themselves have written in their own Healthy Borough Assessment. (We’ve been here before, haven’t we?)

The maths is simple, in just over five years, Fortitudo will have recouped their costs on both fast food outlets and will be turning in a healthy profit to take back to Sandbanks at the cost of the health of Havant Borough residents.

Fortitudo wouldn’t have got away with it in Poole so we don’t expect Havant Borough Council to roll over on this one.

As that regeneration banner on Park Road South says – “Have Pride in Havant”.

If you want to make a comment on this planning application, please click this link and complete the online form. Comments must be received at the council by Friday October 30th.

If you would like to support Havant Civic Society, please click here.

#rethinkhavant

The very thin end of a very large Portsmouth Water wedge

[Updated, 15/10/2020]

We have a soft spot for trees. We also have a soft spot for green spaces. We also understand that Havant’s tree canopy is, at best, poor by national standards. In a world where the value of trees and the importance of the tree canopy to the overall health of the community is increasingly understood and valued, it’s worth checking out the seemingly innocuous planning applications for tree work.

Portsmouth Water currently have a planning application for proposed works to trees in a the Brockhampton conservation area. On closer reading, this one is undoubtedly a precursor to a series of planning applications for extensive redevelopment of the entire Portsmouth Water site, including the building of new industrial premises and a large tranche of 135 dwellings.

The current planning application details the works to be carried out on a number of trees around the Brockhampton Spring, behind the Portsmouth Water offices in West Street. The plan of works may be unreadable here, but if you click the image, the detailed plan will open and you can zoom in.

If you’ve not quite figured out where this is, it’s the area covered by the yellow rectangle on this image, with the Bosmere Medical Centre, M&S and Next at the bottom.

The detail of the work being proposed looks like straightforward maintenance of existing woodland:

Trees 2, 3 and 4 (all Ash)Crown lift all round to provide 3.0m ground level clearance
Tree 10 (Wingnut) – Crown lift all round to provide 4.0m ground level clearance
Tree 11 (Willow) – Fell Dead trunk
Tree 18 (Lime) – Crown lift on the southern to provide 3.0m ground level clearance
Trees 22 and 23 (Lime) – Crown lift on the southern to provide 3.0m ground level clearance
Tree 24 (Ash x2) – Fell to ground level
Trees 25 and 26 (Willow) – Dead trees – fell
Tree 27 (Ash) – Fell
Grp 1 (Elder and Hawthorn) coppice at ground level”

Now it might seem that Portsmouth Water appear to be taking the health of their trees seriously, but the reality is rather more sinister. When we first looked at this one, we were distracted by the trees and didn’t see the wood, so to speak. Having now been gently reprimanded by a reader, we’ve taken a deeper look and would encourage you to read the fine print in that planning application. To help you, we’ve cut it out and you can see it by clicking this image.

The references to fencing and the need to accommodate heavy machinery to remove a culvert suggest strongly that this is indeed the first real planning application to emerge since we reported on the Development Consultation Forum relating to the proposed new Portsmouth Water HQ site almost exactly a year ago.

Given the position of the site in the Brockhampton Conservation area, we look to Havant Borough Council to take a proactive role here, defining an extended arboricultural plan for the entire site, preserving and extending the natural cover provided by this valuable local asset as a pre-requisite to all future development activity in the conservation area.

There is a much bigger picture that really should be considered. The portfolio of changes proposed by Portsmouth Water is far reaching, including the building of a new HQ building and new industrial premises immediately to the north and west of the Bosmere Medical Centre, and the construction of up to 135 dwellings on the the remainder of the land formerly occupied by the current West Street headquarters buildings.

These development plans, for various demolition, construction and landscaping works, will be drip fed into the planning system by the landowner, each in isolation. Common sense dictates that an overall master-plan should be documented, consulted on and approved to fully assess the cumulative impact of these plans on residents, the Bosmere medical centre, the town centre traffic and the environment.

We will be making this point clear in our response and strongly objecting to this planning application until such time as a master plan for the site is available for public scrutiny. If you want to make your own comment on this application, please take this link and complete the comment form.

Comments must be submitted before Tuesday October 27th.

#rethinkhavant

The Bartons Road Southern Electric site is aiming for the architectural wooden spoon

For those of you wondering what was under consideration for the Bartons Road / Petersfield Road former Southern Electric site, all has been revealed in this week’s planning list.

Click on the image to get the idea. That’s another McDonalds and a ‘Drive-thru’ Costa at the top of the site, entrance from Bartons Road, with 191 mostly one bedroom flats in four six story blocks. (Well, we think it’s Bartons Road, even though the plan has it shown as ‘Petersfield Road’!)

Architectural beauties they are not, unless dockside container stacks float your boat. Still, it will help to get those housing numbers up and will enable HBC to trade a few of the Warblington Farm nitrate credits with the developer, although we note that there’s no nitrate assessment included with the application. We also note that these flats squeeze in at just 3m2 bigger than the newly proposed minimum floor area, but even so we still wonder just who are the intended occupants?

We’ve only had a quick look so far but the figure of 2% of occupants ‘working from home’ might seem a little out of date.

A matching two story McDonalds.

And a ‘drive thru’ Costa!

If you want to make a comment on this planning application, please click this link and complete the online form. Comments must be received at the council by October 30th.

If you would like to support Havant Civic Society, please click here.

#rethinkhavant

Havant Borough Council urges government to reconsider proposed planning reforms

[Press release from HBC – 30-9-2020]

Updated 1-10-2020 to include link to HBC formal response
Updated 5-10-2020 to include Alan Mak MP’s formal response.

“Havant Borough Council is urging central government to urgently reconsider its proposed planning system reforms which would see the number of homes in the borough nearly doubling.

The council has sent a formal response as part of the consultation and is robustly arguing against the proposed changes and highlighting the detrimental impact they would have on the borough.

The method currently used by government to calculate the minimum number of homes to be planned for is the Standard Housing Method. Each local authority has its own target, and Havant Borough Council’s current target is 504 new homes per annum. The proposed changes to the planning system would see this increase to 963 homes per annum – an increase of 91%.

Havant Borough Council considers itself a pro-development local authority with a history of swift action of developing Local Plans to meet informed and proven development need. Nonetheless, as a small, constrained and heavily urbanised local authority, site availability to meet housing need is extremely limited.

The council is currently in the final stages of developing a 15 year Local Plan which would see development at levels based on the current Standard Housing Method. The council is committed to building high level, quality, sustainable homes and this is achievable under the current Standard Housing Method with even a modest buffer.

The council recognises that development is needed because it ensures towns and communities stay relevant to the world around them and thrive in new opportunities that arise – but that the proposed new scale is too much for the borough.

Councillor Gary Hughes (Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Lead for Planning)  said: “We have a moral obligation to meet the need for housing in our communities and make sure that our young people have the same opportunities that we have enjoyed. That is why I fully support our Local Plan’s provision of more than 500 new homes in the borough per year up to 2037.

“Nonetheless, with the amount of land that we have available, it is a struggle to get to this level and will require substantial intervention from the council to come close. To then propose almost doubling the figure is simply impossible and cannot be achieved.

“We are calling on the government to amend the proposed reforms to make sure that they are fair and realistic.”

Cllr Hughes’ robust response to government highlights that it would be impossible for the borough to meet the proposed new targets due to the constraints of the borough and the finite land available. Concern is also raised over the proposed targets forcing the council to allow any form of development, as under proposed changes it will also not have the capability to share housing targets with other authorities.

Furthermore, Councillor Hughes argues that The National Planning Policy Framework (which defines development for the nation) insists that all development meets three objectives – that they support local economic, social and environmental requirements. Councillor Hughes highlights that the proposed changes to the planning system contradicts existing policies which are known to support enhancing the natural, built and historic elements of our local environment.”

For further background to this, please see our main post on the topic.

Planning Reform – Councillors are revolting!

Yes, you read that correctly. Following on from our post on the CPRE’s take on the ‘Planning for the Future’ white paper, we’re encouraged to read in the press today that ‘a survey across Tory heartlands has revealed party representatives are baulking at ministers’ plans to sharply increase housing targets in electoral strongholds like Hampshire and Surrey and are rejecting attempts to cut planning committees out of routine decision-making.

Conservative leaders in councils are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to the plans which they fear could result in countryside being concreted over for housing and core voters deserting them in disgust.’ To read the full article from today’s Guardian, click on the image.

For Havant, the increase from 504 homes per year based on the 2014 numbers currently used, to 962 homes per year in the ‘new world’ represents a ridiculous 91% increase. Read our summary of the CPRE post and get in touch with your local councillors and Alan Mak to make your views known.