Infrastructure must be right if Welborne is to succeed

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Most people, if they had the choice, would probably veto a housing development springing up in their area. It’s the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome.

They expect councils to agree with them, to block proposals that they believe would affect the area where they live.

But these days local authorities are simply not in a position to turn down plans for housing.

A growing population has to be accommodated somewhere, the housing waiting list is getting bigger and bigger and the government has imposed house-building targets that must be met.

So what do councils do?

Fareham Borough Council has taken the bold step of planning to create one big new community of 6,500 homes on a greenfield site north of the town.

Welborne, as it has been called, would meet housing needs until 2030 without the need to develop sites in the town or fill gaps between Fareham and surrounding villages.

But at what cost?

Some campaigners point to the amount of traffic the new town will create.

Others have raised concerns about lack of funding for infrastructure, the risk of flooding and the adverse impact on quality of life locally.

And then there’s the matter of almost 1,000 acres of open countryside that would be swallowed up by the bricks and Tarmac of Welborne.

The council finds itself in a difficult position.

It has to say yes to new houses being built somewhere and believes Welborne is the best way forward. Doing nothing is not an option.

We think it deserves credit for tackling the issue of housing with the idea of a new town that would have the advantage of containing development in one area.

But the key to it working has to be ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place.

Because too many other developments in this country have sprung up without the schools, doctors’ surgeries and road improvements to properly support these new communities.