Minister says new town ‘will work as a community’

Pay-as-you-go scheme could save Hampshire tips from closure

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WITH a field of rapeseed as a backdrop, the government’s planning minister Nick Boles surveyed what will become a new town to the north of Fareham.

Welborne, as the town will be called, is a development of 6,500 houses, two primary schools, shops, business space and other amenities.

DISCUSSIONS Planning minister Nick Boles MP with executive leader Cllr Se�n Woodward, talking in one of the fields where Welborne is going to be built            Picture: Sarah Standing (131218-2569)

DISCUSSIONS Planning minister Nick Boles MP with executive leader Cllr Se�n Woodward, talking in one of the fields where Welborne is going to be built Picture: Sarah Standing (131218-2569)

It will be built near Knowle Village, as long as the public agree, the infrastructure is in place, and the money can be found to do the work.

Mr Boles said: ‘This will be a whole site that works as a community.

‘There are 2,000 people on the waiting list for social housing, but there are people for whom home ownership is beyond what they can afford. We need to build more houses.

‘What we need to do is choose fields that are less beautiful, less environmentally sensitive, and have quality infrastructure.

‘There’s a fund called the Community Infrastructure Levy which can be used to improve roads.’

Fareham Borough Council is asking people to comment on the draft plan for Welborne in a consultation running until June 10.

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘There is a critical need for this development. We had a choice, a very clear choice. We could infill all the green spaces between our villages and our towns, or we could build a community.

‘But not a brick will be laid at this new community until we have the infrastructure in place, and most importantly the funding.’

The public consultation meetings will be held on:

· May 7, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, 2pm to 7pm

· May 8, Funtley Social Club, 2pm to 7pm

· May 14, Knowle Community Centre, 4pm to 7pm

· May 21, Ferneham Hall, 4pm to 7pm

· May 23, Wickham Community Centre, 4pm to 7pm

Henry Clearly, chairman of the Welborne Standing Conference, which is working with organisations to make the town plan a success, said: ‘There have been meetings about green space, master planning, education, but people can still influence how it. There’s a lot to play for.’