Lib Dems hit out at plans for extra 2,000 homes in borough

University of Portsmouth group finance and business students, from left, back row Professor Diego Vazquez-Brust and head of the accounting and financial management subject group at the University of Portsmouth Andrew Wood. 'Front row, Louisa Burton, Faculty of Business and Law dean Professor Gioia Pescetto, Francesca Sharp, Amy Davidson

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PLANS to build 2,000 more homes in Fareham by 2036 have been criticised by the council’s Lib Dem opposition.

As reported yesterday, Fareham Borough Council announced that it needs to build another 2,000 homes to meet a growing demand for housing.

This is on top of 6,000 homes being built over the same time period in new town Welborne, north of Fareham, and 1,800 already included in the council’s local plan up to 2026.

Cllr Paul Whittle, Lib Dem leader, said: ‘The council justified 6,000 new homes at Welborne on the basis that there would be no other development in the rest of the borough.

‘The Liberal Democrats have always steadfastly resisted the plans for the huge new community north of Fareham, never believing that the promises could be guaranteed and that worst fear is now being realised.

‘This demonstrates that the council leadership has completely misled everyone if other sites are now up for grabs for 2,000 more homes only a year after Welborne got the go-ahead.’

The figure of 2,000 homes has been worked out from Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (Push), which is made up of 12 councils, of which council leader Sean Woodward is chairman.

Cllr Whittle said: ‘The leader has broken a solemn promise to the residents of Fareham telling everyone that Welborne would provide for the housing needs of the borough.

‘He owes everyone at least a public apology, if not his resignation, for such false information and deception.’

Cllr Woodward said that the houses were part of a rolling plan and they needed to meet demand until 2036.

He said: ‘If we had not put in Welborne then we would not be looking for 2,000 houses, we would be looking for 8,000.

‘Then I could have guaranteed that every piece of green land in Fareham would be at risk.

‘The fact that we have put in 6,00 homes in Welborne means we are only looking for 2,000 and we are able to protect our strategic gap and countryside as much as we can.

‘That’s why we are focusing on town centre sites.’