Welborne row continues as further plans for 6,000-town are revealed

A CGI of Welborne
A CGI of Welborne
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  • Row rumbles on as landowner unveils new plans for 72 homes on Welborne site
  • Council leader and landowner continue dispute over plans for new town
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THE first detailed planning application for homes at a proposed 6,000-home town has been submitted.

BST Warehouses has put in a bid to Fareham Borough Council to build 72 homes at Welborne.

It is simple, if you look to build a house, but only own 60 per cent of the land needed for it, you cannot build it

Councillor Sean Woodward

The major landowner is targeting the old Sawmills Industrial site off Forest Lane.

Gavin Hall, director at planning firm Savills, said: ‘We are confident that this planning application will lead to the creation of a great place to live and enhance the environment for the site’s neighbours.’

An outline planning application for the whole site has already been submitted by major Welborne landowner Mark Thistlethwayte’s firm.

But his firm, Buckland Development Ltd, is still in a deadlocked row with the council over how to proceed with the development.

The council is pursuing proposals to secure its own developer and use a compulsory purchase order to buy the land to progress the site.

Mr Thistlethwayte says the 72 homes in the submitted application have been accounted for within his firm’s outline application and that it demonstrates the landowner’s ability to bring forward the development.

He said: ‘The homes have been accounted for within our outline planning application, so BST’s proposals do not increase the existing number of homes proposed.

‘Together with our application, this is another demonstration of landowners’ ability and willingness to bring the project forward as soon as possible.’

Buckland Development does not own all the land needed for Welborne but is looking to purchase Dean Farm near Wickham, which is on the open market for £30m after a judge ruled it should be sold.

Mr Thistlethwayte previously confirmed to The News his firm would look to purchase the land.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham’s council said the authority needs to pursue the compulsory purchase order until the developers can offer the whole site for the development.

He said: ‘How can Buckland be in control of the land if they only own 60 per cent of the site?

‘If they can offer the whole site then it’s a different prospect but at the moment our development strategy is the only show in town.’

Welborne was named a garden village by the government in January and the council has begun the process of securing its own development partner.

The council was awarded more than £228,000 in capacity funding by the Homes and Communities Agency earlier this month, and is eligible to apply for billions of pounds of government funding to speed up the development.

Cllr Woodward added: ‘The remaining 40 per cent includes Junction 10 of the M27 and the secondary school.

‘The planning committee will not accept a planning application that cannot guarantee these things.

‘It is simple, if you look to build a house, but only own 60 per cent of the land needed for it, you cannot build it.’

The council is to hold a series of public meetings about its Welborne plans this month and in May.