So Welborne is now a ‘garden village’?
Is someone having a laugh?
Many would envisage a village to be a human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet, but smaller than a town, with a population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand at most, and certainly not a 6,000 new-home monstrosity.
The government announcement that Welborne meets its criteria for a garden village and was, wait for it, community-led, stretches the boundaries of the human mind.
The Welborne project now qualifies for a cash injection of a million or so. However, as the council builds its cash reserves for an epic and an ambitious legal challenge with regard to the issuing of a compulsory purchase order of the land which makes up the Welborne site, every penny counts.
I can’t believe how so many people take the view that Mr Mark Thistlethwayte will simply roll over and accept a compulsory purchase order of his land without a gargantuan legal challenge taking place.
Mr Thistlethwayte has the financial clout to turn any compulsory purchase order into what barristers dream of – eye-watering legal fees.
After spending a small fortune already on Welborne, will Buckland Developments merely sign on a dotted line transferring their land ownership to another developer favoured by Fareham Borough Council?
If I was a private developer looking to buy into Welborne and found out over the hedgerow there was one of the biggest landowners in Hampshire ready for a fight, I would seriously consider a tactical withdraw.
It’s early days for 2017. I hope it gets better than this.
* This letter was submitted to The News by Shaun Cunningham of Shearwater Avenue, Fareham