Labour hits out at Lib Dem group over Welborne

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FAREHAM’S Labour group has accused the local Lib Dems of ‘playing politics’ over plans for a new town north of Fareham.

The Fareham Labour Party is supporting the proposals for up to 6.500 new homes, creating a new town to be named Welborne.

But it has made submissions to the recently-finished consultation on how the town should develop, calling for half of it to be social and affordable housing.

The current plans suggest it will be about 30 per cent affordable housing.

Richard Ryan, the Fareham Labour Group’s spokesman said: ‘We say that the Lib Dems who have campaigned against this development are playing politics rather than helping Fareham cope with the housing shortage.

‘It is easy to oppose for opposing’s sake and win cheap headlines. They say that they’re against this development and also oppose any building within the urban area of Fareham.

‘You can’t have it both ways. If we are to supply the amount of houses needed in Fareham we have to make the decision to build a new community which will see us being able to provide the facilities desperately need.’

Cllr Paul Whittle, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: ‘I don’t think we are trying to have it both ways. We do support development in legitimate sites, particularly on brownfield areas within Fareham. We do support development within the existing infrastructure.

‘But we do oppose the Welborne development, we don’t think it is necessary in Fareham.’

Mr Ryan added: ‘ Labour supports the principle of the Welborne development. We believe that this new community is needed in Fareham to supply much-needed housing to reduce the housing waiting list and allow our young people to be able to still live and work in the area.

‘Without it our children and grandchildren will be forced away from Fareham to seek affordable housing. We also believe that this development will ease the pressure on the few green open spaces and strategic gaps within the borough.’

Labour has not held a seat in Fareham borough since losing its last two seats in 2002.