PARKING problems, eyesore buildings and new town Welborne were all hot topics of debate at a Community Action Team meeting.
About 50 residents took the opportunity to question council leader Sean Woodward at the meeting, which took place last night at Ferneham Hall, in Fareham.
John Codling, from The Glade, wanted to press Cllr Woodward over new town Welborne, a 6,000-home town planned for fields north of Fareham, and how far it would be from existing homes.
He said: ‘The meeting was very interesting. I came because I felt we are in the dark about the boundaries of where the new town will be.
‘It is set to be just 50 metres away from Funtley and that’s just a grass verge in my eyes. Funtley is its own community and it should remain as one.’
Cllr Woodward said that Fareham Common would not be developed and that no building will take place south of the M27.
Another passionate resident, Chris Nixon, from Beaumont Rise, challenged Cllr Woodward over the estimated cost – £300m – of infrastructure at Welborne.
Mr Nixon, who is also a member of campaign group Inform Fareham, said that he believed Welborne’s infrastructure would cost more to build.
Cllr Woodward said this cost was low because it was easier to build infrastructure on fields than on brownfield sites. He said that £200m of this cost would be funded by developers.
Questions were also asked by resident Jack Sach, from Norton Drive, about the former Skippers fish and chip shop in Trinity Street and why it had been allowed to be left as a run-down derelict site for about six years.
Cllr Woodward agreed that the site was ‘an eyesore’ but said that the council did not have any powers to make the owner clean up the site unless it was ‘dangerous or infested’.
He said: ‘We will work with the owners but the ball is in their court.’
As well as hearing a presentation from Cllr Woodward, residents also heard from police sergeant Mark Lampner, who took over in Fareham three months ago.
Residents brought parking problems in Wickham Road, Arundel Drive and Redlands Lane to his attention and he promised to look at what could be done to help alleviate them. He also promised to look at cycling on pavements in the town centre.
The next Cat meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, July 14 at Titchfield Community Centre, in Mill Street.