The site is located on Funtley Road and is enclosed within a triangle of land bounded by the M27 to the south, the railway line to the east and a disused railway spur, known as the ‘Deviation Line’ to the west, which is now a bridleway.
Funtley village is to the east of the railway line and Fareham is to the south of the M27. Land to the west is small scale, well wooded agricultural land within the relatively intact landscape of the Meon Valley whose river dissects the chalk escarpment of the South Downs.
To the east and north east are larger scale agricultural fields, beyond Funtley village, earmarked for 6000+ homes and a new village of Welborne. The Welborne development is proposed as a strategic allocation within the draft local plan, which is at a very early stage having only just received outline planning permission.
The land immediately to the north of Funtley Road was developed in the 1990’s for medium density residential development on a site which was historically brickworks, clay pits and an abattoir. The site has a history of agricultural use with a number of fields, once enclosed by hedgerows and extensive coppice woodland. It is now used as horse paddocks, with associated large agricultural buildings, stables and yards.
The triangle of land that forms the immediate context is highly enclosed and isolated from surrounding areas. These include:
• The M27 over the brow of the hill to the south and although hidden from view the motorway is audible
• The railway cutting to the east (the road passes over a bridge to reach Funtley village) – the railway is not visible due to woodland in the east of the site and along the railway
• The Deviation Line to the west, which is now a bridleway within a heavily wooded embankment
Fareham Borough Local Plan
Fareham Local Plan Regulation 18 draft to 2036 proposes that the Funtley South site (4.55ha) (housing site HA10) is allocated for new homes.
The draft allocation requires primary access to be from Funtley Road with safe pedestrian connections across Funtley Road, to existing housing and also connections to the existing footpath and bridleway network in the area and to Funtley village.
It is also expected to connect both functionally, and visually to the open space allocation to the south. On-site woodland is to be retained and a 15m buffer maintained around Beamond Coppice woodland SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation).
The proposal is expected to provide building/buildings for community use, both for the existing and new community and to provide directly or through contributions to off-site highway improvements, local schools and early years childcare, public open space, on or off-site and an on-site LEAP (Local Equipped Area of Play).
Fareham Borough Council conducted a Landscape Sensitivity Assessment for this site. The assessment, whilst attributing high landscape sensitivity overall to the Landscape Character Assessment notes that the Funtley Road area is visually enclosed and already influenced by housing development and horse paddocks and buildings.
It concludes that limited, sensitive residential development could be accommodated and absorbed into the landscape within an enhanced landscape structure. Importantly the Meon Valley needs to be better connected to Fareham North and North West to address access to natural greenspace deficiencies.
FBC draft Local Plan proposes an allocation HA10 south of Funtley Road for new homes and open space.
Fareham North West Ward has adequate open space.
Fareham North west ward (south of M27) has some of the highest deprivation in the Borough and shortages of all types of accessible open space.
Allotments have waiting lists across the Borough and there are none in the Fareham North and towards the North West.
Community and indoor sports facilities are adequate across the Borough, although aged.
Better connections to the Meon Valley will help address some of the open space deficiencies and could provide a link in the Meon Valley trail.
Fareham Borough Council (FBC) are seeking net gains in biodiversity through development.
FBC require comprehensive landscape mitigation and enhancement to ensure development integrates with its landscape context.