Fareham council wins appeal over ‘appalling design’ of Welborne homes

A aerial interpretation of Welborne
A aerial interpretation of Welborne
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A COUNCIL has seen off a legal challenge over the first homes proposed to be built at Welborne. 

BST Warehouses Ltd wants to build 72 homes at the Sawmills industrial park on Wickham Road. After Fareham Borough Council did not make a decision on the site the firm took it to a planning appeal.

The council said it disagreed with the design of the homes and said that the development did not have the correct infrastructure – such as roads – required in the 6,000-home new town.

After a hearing last month, planning inspector Kenneth Stone found in favour of the council and dismissed the appeal.

In his report he wrote: ‘I conclude that the development does not make adequate provision for a reasonable proportion of the necessary infrastructure required to support Welborne.’

He also described the proposal’s design as having a ‘civic appearance’ – at odds with the council’s hopes of creating a woodland-themed development.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘A very important appeal victory for the council – we win almost all appeals – which clearly lays down a marker that badly designed housing schemes should be refused and the Planning Inspectorate will uphold such appeals. 

‘Welborne will be a development of the highest quality and this proposal was of the most appalling design.’

Costs were not awarded to either side.

However, the planning application – the only one submitted so far for Welborne – is still in the pipeline and some residents are concerned the homes may be built before the rest of the town. 

Secretary of the Fareham Society Brenda Clapperton said: ‘I am concerned that when these houses are built and families move into these new homes they will be isolated especially if they don’t have a car because there will be no shops or schools or other infrastructure built yet.

‘In terms of local schools and surgeries when they can get there, they are at breaking point already and 72 homes is another 250 people at least.’

Mr Stone noted in his report, however, that the developers had concluded there was ‘sufficient capacity’ at schools and surgeries in the area for the first potential Welborne occupants.

He wrote: ‘As the new Garden Village develops there would be an expectation that the occupants of this development would use the services and facilities in the wider Welborne development and not travel to other areas.’