Welborne delays prompt call to give landowners a deadline over application

THE continued delay of a 6,000-home new town is leading to developers to cherry-pick green fields for housing.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:56 pm
An artist's impression of Welborne

That’s the view of Fareham borough councillor Roger Price, who says that owners of the land earmarked for the Welborne development need to be given a deadline to provide a planning application for the site in order to speed the process up.

Plans for the development have slowed down in the last year, with major land owners Buckland Development Limited and the Benge Estate still yet to submit a planning application for the whole site.

Buckland held a public exhibition about its plans for the site earlier this year, where it was not confirmed if a deal had been reached with the Benge Estate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The delays have led the borough council to look into purchasing the site via a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Cllr Price, who leads the Liberal Democrats on the council said: ‘We need to give them a deadline.

‘Welborne is an urgent matter in terms of Fareham’s development and we simply need to hurry it up.

‘A deadline needs to be set and if it is missed then the council must go for the CPO.

‘Too many green fields are being cherry-picked for development’.

Cllr Price’s comments come as The News revealed plans for 358 homes on green fields by Downend Road in Portchester yesterday.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council said the council cannot insist on giving the developers a deadline for a planning application but that they would continue to push for a CPO.

‘The council is continuing down the CPO route and will go out to tender for a prospective developer in the new year.

‘Unless something changes and the land owners can submit a plan for the whole site then we will continue down this path.’

Buckland is set to hold a second public exhibition about the development at Ferneham Hall next month.

At the event, on November 2, people will be able to chat to members of the project team about the development and quiz them about the plans and whether a planning application is imminent.

The event at the venue will last from 1pm until 8pm.