HHRA Update 27 June 2022
Break ins, thefts and vandalism. During the night of 26 – 27 June, 21 beach huts below Cliff Road were broken into and items of value were stolen. The beach huts were generally very securely locked, but the perpetrators were clearly well prepared. A camper van was stolen from a drive in Plymouth Drive. One of the wooden Coast Path signs has been broken and last week a rubbish bin was burnt out by a so called disposable barbecue (cost to the Council £500). Not a good few days for the Cliff Road promenade.
News from the CAT meeting in Stubbington 22 June:
The Fareham Local Plan. At the meeting Peter Wason questioned the latest situation regarding the borough's 5-year housing supply figures. (You will recall that, when the plan was originally submitted, against the Government's 5-year housing supply requirement, the plan showed a shortfall in availability, at 4.3 years. Then more recently, following developers' successful appeals such as that relating to building at the south-east end of Newgate Lane, plus other unexpected smaller plots around the borough, the figure was recalculated to 5.08. However the planning inspector's interim report in mid-June expressed scepticism at the deliverability of some of the figures, particularly on the plot adjacent to the railway station, and the ‘trajectory’ for the Welborne houses coming on stream.) The Council Executive Leader, Cllr Woodward, responded that the numbers being questioned only slightly reduced the total to 4.95 years-worth, representing some 34 homes short of the 5-year requirement. He added that as Welborne now had planning consent and, although much delayed from original aspirations, was up to 6 months ahead of the build rate projected in the current Local Plan, he was confident that a revised projection for Welborne could meet the 34 shortfall.
Shellfish Gatherers. Pamela Charlwood raised the subject of the shellfish gathering gangs that have returned in force (we think, from London), stressing the ecological damage, the illegality of commercially harvesting from waters that have been contaminated by sewage discharge and the possibility that the activity involves modern slavery. Cllr Woodward urged that any incidents should be reported immediately to FBC's Environmental Health department (01329 236100 ext 2401 or 07770 227155 out of working hours). If you do not manage to make contact, he asked that you should inform the police instead. As before, do let us know after you have reported it, so that we can monitor the effectiveness of the system. We are aware that some members have found it difficult to make contact or evoke any response from FBC and we made Cllr Woodward aware of that, but we should nevertheless keep on trying. Indeed, you may wish to make any officers aware that you are contacting them at the specific request of the Council leader. In a subsequent exchange of correspondence initiated by Pamela, Cllr Woodward said that the lead councillor on this matter was already in discussion with the police.
Electric Scooters. As two of our community police officers were at the meeting, another subject raised was the inconsiderate riding of electric scooters; an increasing number are seen regularly in Hill Head and Stubbington. They confirmed that they were classed as motor vehicles and therefore should not be operated on roads without licence and insurance, other than in towns and cities operating Government-sponsored trials (includes Portsmouth) and not at all on pavements. Any sightings should be reported to the police immediately. We know that it is difficult to secure an immediate response from our stretched police force, but, as with the shellfish gatherers and other antisocial behaviour, it is important to keep trying, generating sufficient reports to raise the priority. If there are areas where there are regular e-scooter users, that would be a particularly useful example to report, suggesting that the police might attend on future days at that time and location.
Ferneham Hall. As you know, the rebuild of Ferneham Hall was put on hold during the pandemic and subsequently a review to determine any changes that might be appropriate in the light of pandemic experience. A rebuild contract is being awarded and the new premises are expected to be open sometime in 2023.
Scams. No new scams to report this time. However plenty of the old ones are doing the rounds and they are increasingly more sophisticated and plausible. Be on your guard.