A REPORT has warned that the ongoing economic climate and problems in the housing market will lead to challenges in creating a new town of about 6,500 homes.
But despite this, Fareham Borough Council has said it remains confident the money can be found to make Welborne a viable development.
A final price tag has not been put on the creation of the new town on land between Fareham and Wickham, but it is expected to be at least £1bn.
The report said: ‘With the austerity in public finances, public sector grant funding has become increasingly scarce and, at this stage, is not forecast to make the substantial contribution to meeting the costs of infrastructure provision for Welborne.’
Council leader Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘The development will fail the test of viability if the infrastructure isn’t properly identified and sited, and most importantly, funded.
‘What we are very clear on is that it won’t be entirely developer-funded, which I think is what a lot of developers still think, and there are a number of innovative means of funding that we are looking at.
‘The critical number for it to be viable is 6,000 homes, that puts one secondary school, and sorts out junction 10 of the motorway and gives us three primary schools.
‘All of those infrastructure issues come right at 6,000, which is why we don’t want pockets of 1,000 homes here and 1,000 homes there – that brings nothing.’
A series of exhibitions will take place to let the public have a look at the draft plan for Welborne and have their say on how they think it should progress as part of a public consultation that ends on June 10. They are at:
n May 7, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, 2pm to 7pm
n May 8, Funtley Social Club, 2pm to 7pm
n May 14, Knowle Community Centre, 4pm to 7pm
n May 21, Ferneham Hall, 4pm to 7pm
n May 23, Wickham Community Centre, 4pm to 7pm
The draft plan is also available to view at the civic offices, the borough’s libraries and online at fareham.gov.uk/ldf
Feedback from the consultation will be reviewed before the draft goes to an independent inspector next June.