Fareham Borough Council is urged: ‘Give us an asset, not an eyesore’

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FEARS that a new community to be built north of Fareham could end up as an eyesore have prompted Fareham Borough Council to work on a ‘design code’.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Jim Forrest urged the council to ‘pay attention to the mistakes of the past’ to avoid the new community turning into a poorly-planned housing estate.

The houses will be built north of the M27 and eventually accommodate 6,500 houses. If it goes to plan, building will start in three years time.

Cllr Forrest made the deputation at the executive council meeting on Monday where he urged councillors to ‘give us an asset, not an eyesore’.

He said: ‘What we want to avoid is creating an estate. It was done in various places across the country in the 1950s. We built huge housing estates without putting in provision for services.

‘Local examples of this can be seen at Leigh Park in Havant and Fareham Park. They were built before the services were properly planned and provided.’

Cllr Forrest said the new Fareham development should have a full range of services such as schools, medical services, shops and community facilities.

He said the council should learn lessons from the problems currently faced in Whiteley, such as the lack of school places.

Lib Dem Fareham East councillor Paul Whittle agreed. He said: ‘If we are going to do this then we must do it right. This design policy work is absolutely crucial.’

Tory Locks Heath councillor Keith Evans said: ‘What we want to achieve is an area that people would be proud of and would want to live in.’

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘What we need to provide is something that we can be proud of and provide a lasting legacy for the future residents.

‘We do need to identify the funding before we start, but I agree it is all about getting the right design and it is heartening to see so many local groups showing an interest and getting involved.’

Cllr Forrest said: ‘It has long been said that Fareham is a big collection of villages which all have their own identity. If we have to have thousands of new houses, then let’s make it a village and not an estate.’

The council will now create a design code which the various developers will have to adhere to.