A CONTROVERSIAL 6,000-home development is one step closer to going ahead after the plans were approved by a government inspector.
David Hogger has published his report on Welborne, and said the plans for the new town in the north of Fareham were ‘sound’ – meaning they are viable and within planning law.
Mr Hogger held hearings in November and listened to arguments for and against Welborne.
After looking at the plan in detail and suggesting modifications for Fareham Borough Council to make, he has given it his blessing.
Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘The decision by Mr Hogger is a huge one for the town.
‘Obviously I am delighted with the decision because it means we can build the houses Fareham needs for the future.
Obviously I am delighted with the decision because it means we can build the houses Fareham needs for the future.Councillor Sean Woodward
‘With Welborne, we are looking to build a community with its own infrastructure rather than have a lot of little developments with no extra infrastructure.
‘There are 1,200 families still waiting to be housed in the area so Welborne is needed.’
But opposers to the development say they are disappointed.
Residents’ associations and organisations in Fareham have been opposed to the new town with concerns of extra traffic and the town being unsustainable.
Ed Morell, chairman of Funtley Village Society, said: ‘From the viewpoint of the Funtley Village Society and Funtley residents, we are very disappointed.
‘Given the fact that our legitimate questions about infrastructure, traffic, flooding and hospital issues, for example, have not been adequately answered, the Welborne development will have a significant impact on the quality of life for all residents.
‘This decision is not surprising given the national picture, where huge developments are being approved across the country.’
On behalf of community groups and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, David Walton said: ‘The inspector appears unfortunately to have succumbed to what was no doubt immense pressure from his political masters and has allowed a deeply flawed plan, regardless of the consequences, when patently the Welborne plan is anything but sound.’
Welborne will have 6,000 homes, three primary schools, a secondary school and open spaces. Shopping centres and community centres will also be built.