Developers work on plans for Fareham ahead of inspector’s inquiry

The plan for new 6,000-home town Welborne is currently the subject of an independent inquiry
The plan for new 6,000-home town Welborne is currently the subject of an independent inquiry
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CONCERNS have been raised that developers are preparing plans for Fareham’s green fields in case new town Welborne is thrown out.

Workers have been spotted on a field currently occupied by horses at the end of Hillson Drive, Fareham, leading to fears that the previously rejected plan for 200 homes on the site could be resurrected.

The plan was refused by Fareham Borough Council in 2011 as the land was classed as countryside, meaning it was not suitable as it contravened the council’s local plan.

The local plan, along with the plan for new 6,000-home town Welborne, is currently the subject of an independent inquiry, to be heard by inspector David Hogger in October.

If Mr Hogger deems the local plan or the Welborne plan ‘unsound’ and unsuitable, then an alternative solution to Fareham’s housing need will be sought, potentially giving more credence to sites like Hillson Drive.

Council leader Sean Woodward said Hillson Drive was just one example of green fields in Fareham that are in the hands of developers.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Every piece of green space in Fareham not owned by the council is in the hands of developers.

‘If Welborne is not found sound then all these places will be built.

‘We have said no to all of them that is why it is so critical that Welborne goes ahead. We have allocated sufficient housing for the next 25 years, if Welborne does not happen then it will be concrete from Swanwick to Portchester.’

Ward councillor Peter Davies said: ‘If it were to go ahead, we could see 250 houses at the end of Hillson Drive which in itself is inadequate.

‘To allow it would be a disaster. If the inspector does not think Welborne is enough then all these developments will come out of the woodwork.’

Ward councillor Dave Whittingham said he was in support of Welborne as it would prevent infilling such as Hillson Drive. He raised concerns about pressure on existing infrastructure should the housing be allowed.

Lib Dem Katrina Trott, who is against Welborne, questioned why so many houses are needed and said she would also be against so many being built on Hillson Drive.

She added: ‘We do not need anything like the number of homes being talked about.’

She added she was ‘totally against’ large scale development and said the council focus on brownfield sites.