CONCERNS have been raised that delays in building a new 6,000-home town could lead to other housing developments being approved.
People living in Fareham say a setback to Welborne could be the catalyst to houses being built on green fields at Cranleigh Road, in Portchester, and Newlands in Stubbington.
Their concerns come after Fareham Borough Council announced on Thursday it was looking to seek a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the land where Welborne will be built.
Council leader Sean Woodward said they had ‘run out of patience’ as the landowners have failed to submit a planning application.
The CPO could see the start of Welborne delayed by at least 18 months. Landowners of the site, north of Fareham, said they had been looking to submit a planning application on March 31.
Campaigner Shaun Cunningham, who is opposed to Welborne, said: ‘The implications of the council wanting to seek a CPO are huge for other areas of Fareham like Newlands and Cranleigh Road.
The implications of the council wanting to seek a CPO are huge for other areas of Fareham like Newlands and Cranleigh Road.Shaun Cunningham
‘I bet the developers are rubbing their hands together in joy. If the council refuses their application and they appeal, the independent inspector will look at Welborne and the delays.
‘They could say Fareham won’t meet its housing target in time so other developments will be needed to help.’
Newlands developer Hallam Land wants to build 1,100 homes on fields off Peak Lane while Persimmon Homes South Coast wants to put 120 homes on land off Cranleigh Road.
But Cllr Woodward said Welborne is the key to stopping those other developments.
‘If we seek the CPO, any inspector can see as a council that we are trying to move ahead with Welborne,’ he said.
‘If we do nothing and no planning application has been submitted then Welborne is being delayed.
‘We must deliver Welborne. That is the only way that we can protect our strategic countryside gaps.’