LETTER OF THE DAY: Yes, new homes are needed, but they all have to be affordable

Your editorial on Wednesday discussed the need for new homes to be built in our area (New homes needed - and they have to go somewhere, Mar 28).

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 3:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st March 2018, 3:10 pm
Housebuilding plans continue to spark debate

Most of the people who are objecting to the current rash of proposals would agree that more need to be built.

But new homes of the right type, homes that people who are not already on the housing ladder can actually afford to buy or rent.

And new homes in numbers which are proportional to our needs.

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Unfortunately, that is not what is happening.

Some years ago there was a public inquiry into Fareham council’s local plan which included the huge Welborne development.

That was supposed to avoid the need for other ‘infill’ developments in the borough but clearly hasn’t.

The presiding inspector at the inquiry criticised Fareham council for misleading the public by pretending that the numbers of new homes they wanted were to meet local needs whereas really the numbers were far higher than necessary, they were actually to encourage inward migration to the area.

The housing targets which drove the plan were set with the collusion of an organisation called the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (Push), and Push has been relentlessly pursuing its leader’s dream to build Solent City by agreeing unnecessarily high new-build targets for all of the councils in our area.

Did we, the voters, vote for Solent City?

Has it even been publicly debated?

I think not. And has there been any serious attempt to put the infrastructure in place to support it? No.

So who controls Push? It’s none other than Sean Woodward, the executive leader of Fareham Borough Council.

He was elected to represent the interests of the people who voted him in and it seems to me he has not been doing so.

He has been kept in power for years by the Conservative majority in Fareham and we can all see the results of that.

In May, when it’s time to vote in the local elections, I hope that people remember who created the anarchic situation that we now face.

Mike Parsons

The Heights, Fareham