Fareham planners have discussed and approved the designs for 225 new homes in Portchester, with one member stating it “looks like New York”.

Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee met recently to grant approval for the development located to the south of Romsey Avenue in Portchester.

The plans, submitted by Foreman Homes, were refused by the council in September 2020 but were subsequently approved on appeal. The committee revisited the scheme to decide on the layout, scale, and appearance of the development.

The project is set to feature one and two-bedroom flats, alongside two, three, and four-bedroom houses. Some 58 homes will be designated for affordable rent, with an additional 32 available as shared ownership properties.

Portchester West councillor Susan Walker acknowledged local residents’ disappointment but noted efforts to minimise the impact on Romsey Avenue.

She said: “Everyone knows this application was given on appeal so I can understand the disappointment that residents in the area have and fully appreciate their concerns going forward.”

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Vice-chairman of the committee and Park Gate ward member, Cllr Ian Bastable, expressed concerns about the layout, deeming it “poor”.

He said: “Now maybe that’s because it’s designed to work in sympathy with everything else but I feel the design is too regular with a great deal of monotony.

“It doesn’t feel to me like it’s good place making the way it’s designed, when I look at it I see it’s extremely dense, rectilinear, it looks like New York to me.”

Chairman of the committee and Portchester-West ward member, Cllr Nick Walker, highlighted that the grid pattern is typical of the Portchester area.

Cllr Susan Walker further emphasised the point: “This is exactly the same as a lot of the areas of Portchester – this is going back to how old Portchester was built and if you take that map and expand it you’ll find that grid pattern is a fairly common way of building.”

Before the vote councillors agreed to impose on two new conditions. One to retain parking spaces for their intended purpose and the other to install a fence along the northern site boundary before starting construction, to protect the privacy of Romsey Avenue residents.

Members then voted unanimously in support of the application.