Villages say lists are no sign of Welborne support

An artist's impression of how Welborne may look
An artist's impression of how Welborne may look

Members of Havant cemetery group invite MP to work with them

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VILLAGE groups which have drawn up ‘wish lists’ over the planned Welborne development north of Fareham say this does not mean they support the idea.

This week Fareham council leader Sean Woodward urged Funtley Village Society to meet him and discuss the plans.

Cllr Woodward said people from other areas, including Knowle and Wickham had done so and had passed him a ‘shopping list’ of things they wanted to see.

But now residents from both areas have reacted angrily, saying that this is not a sign that they want to see the 6,000-home development.

Sheila Chambers, from Knowle Village Residents Association, said the village had given a ‘shopping list’ but had done so reluctantly.

Mrs Chambers said: ‘There has been opposition to Welborne ever since it was first talked about. We had our shopping list extracted from us. At the same time, we said we do not want it. We want Welborne to go away.’

Michael Carter, from the Wickham Society, said that it was too early to be drawing up shopping lists.

Mr Carter said: ‘Our objections to Welborne go on for page after page. It is wrong to say there is no objection to Welborne. Villagers are horrified by the thought that there’s going to be 6,000 houses built nearby, not least on high-quality agricultural land.’

The top ten priorities on the wish list are: a preserved Knowle Triangle; improvements to Wickham Community Centre; affordable housing rights for Winchester City Council; primary school places for Knowle; secondary school places for Knowle and Wickham; a train station at Knowle; works to prevent traffic going through Wickham; a promise not to compete with the commercial centre of Wickham; a new bridleway to link Knowle and Wickham; and community use of playing fields.

Cllr Woodward sparked controversy earlier this week when he appealed to Funtley Village Society to meet him as he had not received any requests from them.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘There is a big list and I can’t promise I can deliver them all, but nothing has come forward from Funtley residents. Knowle and Wickham residents have put forward things they would like to see.’

Cllr Woodward said Knowle had been the most forthcoming with written representation from the Knowle Village Residents Association, as well as contact from residents at meetings in the village and through private correspondence.

He has also collated ideas from meetings in Wickham, as well as liaising with parish councillors and receiving letters from residents, helping him draw up a list of the 10 priorities.