Groups say that Welborne is not wanted or needed


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PLANS for a new town to be built outside Fareham have received criticism from community groups.

The criticism has come after the council advertised a principal planner job to design the new town, Welborne.

David Walton, on behalf of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Fareham Society, said that Welborne was ‘the town that nobody wants’.

Fareham Borough Council plans to build 6,500 homes on green land north of the M27.

It held a six-week consultation on the draft plans over May and June, when residents could have submit their opinions on the draft design.

The council will use those consultation responses, together with additional and ongoing evidence, to form a masterplan, which will then go out to further consultation later this year.

Only minor revisions can be made at that stage, as it will also go out to an independent government inspector.

Mr Walton said: ‘Existing borough residents don’t want it on their doorstep, nor does Wallington, Funtley, Knowle or Wickham.

‘CPRE and the Fareham Society are firmly of the view that we ought not continue to build on this scale on open countryside; not least because of the irreparable damage that it will cause, to our landscape and agriculture.’

The groups are concerned that building Welborne would put other villages at flood risk and that the infrastructure will not be able to cope.

Executive member for strategic planning, Cllr Keith Evans, said that building a new town on green land rather than infilling, means infrastructure needs would be easier to identify and to gain funding for.

He also said that the Environment Agency had cleared any risk of flooding in villages such as Wallington because of Welborne’s plans to create ponds and lakes on the south side of the development.

Cllr Evans said: ‘Ever since we began to think about building a town to meet our housing needs, we’ve had a continuous stream of consultation and the majority of people that have engaged with us agree that it is a good place to build it.

‘The housing is needed and we need to deliver it.’