Second possible site picked for new town’s school

An artist's impression of Welborne
An artist's impression of Welborne
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FAREHAM’S council has agreed to put forward another site for a the secondary school in its plans for Welborne.

Planners at the borough council had chosen a preferred site for the school in the new town.

But council leader Sean Woodward told councillors at last night’s meeting that adding another site would give the masterplan a better chance of passing muster when it is inspected.

He said: ‘This is a minor issue in terms of the Welborne plan.

‘But it was felt prudent by the director of planning having looked at the plans.’

The first site in the west of Welborne remains the council’s preferred choice.

But if that turns out to be unworkable one in the east of Welborne will be chosen instead. The council wants to prove the plan is sound.

Councillors raised the issue that school playing fields for the preferred site are out of the council’s control and Winchester City Council could refuse permission.

Independent councillor Nick Gregory said: ‘I would like to see no changes in the position.’

He said he would prefer to see housing reduced instead.

During the debate, Stubbington’s new Ukip councillor Chris Wood tabled an amendment asking that the whole Welborne plan be put on hold.

He wanted the council to put a poll out to people across the borough.

He said: ‘(I move) that this report be noted and placed on hold.’

But councillors refused to back Cllr Wood.

Speaking after the meeting, Tory Stubbington councillor Kay Mandry said she was worried if the amendment had been agreed, a fiercely-opposed planning application at Peak Lane could be successful.

As reported, residents are currently fighting Hallam Land’s application to build 1,550 houses, a new primary school, a pub and a health centre on land off Peak Lane.

She said: ‘Residents are most concerned so I find that absolutely unbelievable.

‘I’m absolutely horrified – my residents will just not believe this.’

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Wood told The News he wanted to take the first opportunity he had to try and push the Welborne plan to a public vote.

He had asked for a referendum but was told by officers it would be illegal for the council to run one.