New town takes another step to becoming reality

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A NEW town north of Fareham is beginning to take shape as councillors agreed the latest phase of the plan for the 6,000-home Welborne.

Fareham Borough Council’s executive meeting recommended that the latest version of the Welborne plan, known as the ‘Publication Plan’, be agreed and be made available to the public last night.

Councillor Keith Evans, executive member for planning and development, presented the document to the executive.

Cllr Evans said: ‘This plan establishes a policy with clear guidelines to see that objectives of Welborne will be delivered.’

Welborne part one was agreed in August 2011 and once built it will see up to 6,000 homes, 30 per cent of which will be affordable housing, along with 100,000sq m of employment space built to the north of the M27.

Cllr Evans said: ‘This is a draft consultation and within it is a massive series of engagement and consultations. There have been Community Action Team meetings, as well as other meetings with interested parties.’

The plan cannot now be changed by the council, with the public being able to comment directly to the inspector, who will be appointed by the Secretary of State in the summer to assess the plan for ‘soundness’ and whether it meets national planning guidelines. They will also assess the plan for other housing across Fareham.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘This is a tremendously important policy to the borough and to Welborne, but I want to reinforce the fact that nobody has ever said that there will be no houses ever built elsewhere in Fareham.’

The Welborne plan will go before all councillors at the next full council on Thursday, which is being held at the Ferneham Hall, to accommodate extra members of the public. No deputations from members from public were made last night, although the public can speak at this meeting if they request to do so by noon today.

If the plan is approved on Thursday, it will be launched and comments will be invited for six weeks from Friday, February 28.

Executive members praised the work gone into this document, which incorporates more than 70 different documents.

If the Welborne plan is found to be sound, then it could adopted at the beginning of 2015.

To view the plan go to bit.ly/Mt3Cb3.