FUNDING for a new school at a 6,000-home development has been welcomed by residents, councillors and developers.
Hampshire County Council has secured £7.8m to spend on a new primary school within the Welborne development.
Portchester resident Mike Townson said: ‘This is obviously a positive commitment to the development at Welborne.
‘All we need now is the start of house building on site which will help our current gap in housing supply and hopefully take pressure off other sites that don’t have infrastructure.’
Pressure on school places in the area have been a big concern for the community after Fareham Borough Council announced another 3,300 homes within the local draft plan on top of the 6,000 at Welborne.
Mike added: ‘There will need to be a lot of houses built quickly to fill a school in three years’ time or will it get filled up from current overflow from other areas.’
Executive lead member for children’s services, Councillor Keith Mans, approved the plans as part of the Children’s Services Capital Programme 2018/19 to 2020/21 which also includes £4.8m for a new primary school at Hazelton Farm in Horndean.
Cllr Mans said: ‘We have been experiencing pressure on primary school places for some time now.
‘I’m pleased to say we’re still ahead of the game – meeting the increasing demand through careful planning and budgeting.
‘This is one of the largest school building programmes in the UK,’ he added.
‘We are determined that families in Hampshire have access to a good local school that offers a rich and varied learning experience.’
Both schools are expected to open in September 2021 and will be partly funded by developers’ contributions, which means that the timescale for building each school will depend on the timing of the housing developments being built in the area.
Hampshire county councillor for Fareham Town and ward councillor for Fareham North West, Councillor Fred Birkett said: ‘This is extremely good news.
‘I welcome Hampshire County Council’s decision to approve the Welborne Primary school development.’
Welborne developers, Buckland, have also welcomed the annoucement.
John Beresford, managing director at Buckland Development Ltd, said: ‘Buckland is committed to creating a community at Welborne that meets local needs, and education is one important aspect of a wide range of community facilities that will be constructed over the course of Welborne’s development.’
The approval of the Capital Programme will be reported to Hampshire County Council’s cabinet on February 5, who will make final recommendations to the county council on February 22.