Changes to ‘flimsy’ plan for new town Welborne agreed by Fareham Borough Council

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PASSIONATE debate surrounded changes to a planned 6,000-home town at a council meeting which drew a crowd of noisy spectators in the public gallery.

Councillors at Fareham Borough Council held a special planning meeting last night to discuss 23 changes - called major modifications - to the plan for new town Welborne, planned for fields north of Fareham.

The council had to agree on the changes after they were requested by an independent inspector following an eight-day planning inquiry held in November.

For the plan for the town to be found ‘sound’ and progress, these 23 changes were made and will now go out to public consultation for six weeks.

Anti-Welborne campaigner Shaun Cunningham addressed the councillors at the start of the meeting.

He urged them to take their responsibilities seriously and expressed residents’ disgust at the amount of money that has been spent so far.

He said: ‘This council has spent £2m on the Welborne plan, employed a raft of consultants whilst the residents have only their resources which is why it is so important that the public have an absolute right to expect full inclusiveness in this process.’

He added: ‘Build your Welborne but I will be there every step of the way pointing out the disasters you have created and the promises you have broken.’

All Fareham councillors, except cllr Dave Whittingham who was absent, discussed the points thoroughly and were at times were heckled from the public gallery.

Leader of the Lib Dem opposition Paul Whittle voiced his opposition to Welborne numerous times.

He said: ‘I support that these recommendations go out to public consultation.

‘Let the public have their say on these rather flimsy responses.

‘Let these changes go back to the inspector and let him see the gaping holes in the Welborne plan.’

Council leader Sean Woodward was keen to defend the plan for the town saying that until it is found sound, the council was at risk from small developments.

He said that such a large development - 6,000 homes - was needed to provide the infrastructure needed.