It’s fair to say the people of Fareham have a right to be confused over the ongoing saga of whether more housing should be built in the borough.
Belts of green land not only keep Britain looking leafy and green and provide a home for wildlife, but they also help create buffers between discrete areas, such as Fareham and Stubbington, to preserve their respective identities.
The plan for the new town of Welborne, which will see 6,000 homes built north of Fareham, was thought to have been enough to answer the government’s request to up the ante on housebuilding.
But Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward says an ageing population, coupled with more broken homes, means there is still pressure to build more new homes.
And this is not a small need – it’s looking at having to find an extra 2,000 properties, albeit over a longer timespan.
Sadly, perhaps, for Fareham residents, this means land previously considered for development plans that were rejected could be back on the table.
It seems no land is guaranteed to be untouched, as the council is eyeing up redeveloping brownfield sites, town centre location and also the more rural parts.
It seems fair to therefore question the much-contested Welborne site and whether this plan is good enough or not. It does seem at worst incompetent, and at best shortsighted, to plan a town which would meet an allocation only to be told it does not meet that allocation. It is not that long ago that Cllr Woodward himself was pointing out that Welborne would prevent piecemeal ‘infill’ development in Fareham. Now, to the no doubt horror of the protesters, we may see both.
As it will bring such a major change for the landscape of Fareham, you would think the call to get the number of houses would have been thought out and taken into account the population is growing. But that is something that cannot be ignored.
As we live for longer and remain independent in our homes, we need to provide housing for the next generation.