‘Someone’s having a laugh over “garden village” Welborne...’

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Cllr Keith Evans, left, and Cllr Sean Woodward with the Fareham Draft Local Plan 2036

Picture: Millie Salkeld

Plans for 3,300 new homes will go to the public

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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