Welborne development takes step forward

A sketch of how Welborne could look
A sketch of how Welborne could look
Cllr Michael Cheshire

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THE building of a 6,000-home new town has moved forward after the major landowner bought up more of the site.

Buckland Development Limited (BDL) confirmed it has exchanged contracts for the purchase of Dean Farm which means the company now owns 96 per cent of the land identified for the garden village.

Principal of BDL Mark Thistlethwayte said: ‘We are delighted to confirm the purchase of Dean Farm and thereby bring together under one ownership the vast majority of the land required for Welborne.

‘We have been working on this acquisition for a very long period and are pleased the legal hurdles have been overcome. We have been working with our delivery partners to ensure that we can deliver the new community in the form that meets the expectations and aspirations the community expect to see.’

The High Court ordered Dean Farm to be sold on the open market in February and BDL prevailed over a number of other bidders to secure the site.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Seán Woodward said: ‘I am delighted that BDL’s persistence has led to its purchase of Dean Farm. Land assembly has always been a key consideration for the council in devising plans for the new community.

‘The council’s planning team has been working with BDL over a number of years and will continue to do so. Our aim is and always has been to secure a comprehensive delivery of the new Welborne Garden Village. It will provide a very significant amount of the new homes required for Fareham over many years to come, including thousands of affordable homes and importantly all of the required infrastructure will be identified and funded including a new motorway junction, schools, open spaces, community centres and healthcare facilities.’

BDL has been working on plans for Welborne for more than 10 years and submitted an outline planning application in early March for the whole 950-acre site, in accordance with Fareham Borough Council’s Welborne Plan.

Mr Thistlethwayte added: ‘We have stayed true to our vision for Welborne and want to make it an exemplary development that represents a new generation of sustainable communities for future generations. We have been supported along the way by local focus groups and look forward to working with Fareham Borough Council to achieve our mutual objectives in line with our planning application.’

Liberal Democrat and anti-Welborne campaigner, Shaun Cunningham said: ‘I welcome the annoucement because it is crucial now that it does come forward as we need Welborne to protect the other green spaces around Fareham.

‘However there is still big issues that need to be resolved before Welborne can actually move forward.’