‘Don’t ignore us’ plea from people next to Hampshire’s new town

Taxpayers forking out millions in legal costs

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FAREHAM Borough Council has been criticised for having a ‘lack of transparency’ in its plans for a new town of 6.500 homes.

Draft outline plans for the new town, which was officially named Welborne earlier this week, have been put out to a six-week public consultation.

The 170-page document lays out the principles behind Welborne, containing standards for design and infrastructure, from schools to housing, its impact on the environment and transport.

It also looks at improvements needed to the road network, including a major upgrade of junction 10 of the M27 so it is a full interchange.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s ruling executive, Cllr Pam Bryant, for north Fareham, said: ‘Quite a lot of our residents feel there hasn’t been enough transparency.

‘They have consistently campaigned against this new development. It will have a devastating impact on the existing community and they feel that they have been completely ignored.’

And she called for a ‘clearly defined traffic scheme’ for the area, before things went any further.

Cllr Keith Evans, in charge of strategic planning matters said: ‘I find claims of lack of transparency disappointing as I believe we have been extremely transparent

Council leader, Cllr Sean Woodward added: ‘Much of the point of putting all that housing and employment need together is to get that required infrastructure.

‘If you just put gobbets of housing here and there, you don’t get that infrastructure.’

Cllr Connie Hockley said: ‘I can understand people’s concerns – new housing, traffic, generation and everything else that goes with it – but we have to plan for the future.’

A series of exhibitions will be held where people can see the draft and talk to council officers at:

· May 7, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, 2pm to 7pm

· May 8, Funtley Social Club, 2pm to 7pm

· May 14, Knowle Community Centre, 4pm to 7pm

· May 21, Ferneham Hall, 4pm to 7pm

· May 23, Wickham Community Centre, 4pm to 7pm

It is also available to view at the civic offices, the borough’s libraries and online at fareham.gov.uk/ldf

Feedback from the consultation will be reviewed before the draft goes to an independent inspector next June.