THE development of Welborne has taken a step forward following the announcement of a master developer to manage the project.
Buckland Development Limited will now take control of the 6,000 home project, working with Fareham Borough Council.
Mark Thistlethwayte, principal of Buckland Development Ltd, said: ‘We have worked extremely hard over many years to get this project to where we are today and have always been consistent in our approach and vision.’
The company controls more than 96 per cent of the land proposed for Welborne.
Mr Thistlethwayte added: ‘Welborne is a complex site and we have worked to ensure we know every inch of it.
‘It not only offers great opportunities for future generations, but has also allowed us to bring forward an outline planning application that encapsulates the principles of garden villages.’
The decision was announced at the council’s executive meeting on Monday after it was decided the council would drop its plan to find a find a developer. This rival plan – which went hand in hand with a plan to use a compulsory purchase order on the land – came about after council frustrations that Welborne landowners including Buckland were taking too long.
During this week’s meeting, executive member for planning and development Councillor Keith Evans said: ‘Buckland submitted an application in March of this year.
‘They have confirmed to the council they are working to acquire the rest of the land.’
Cllr Evans added: ‘We are confident the project will get considerable momentum.’
Mr Thistlethwayte added: ‘We are exactly where we had anticipated being in the process and are extremely pleased that the council has now aligned its approach with ours.
‘We have consistently demonstrated our vision for Welborne and our commitment to creating a sustainable, exemplar garden village – this decision is a significant step towards us achieving this.’
Plans comprise up to 6,000 homes, three schools, health care and community facilities, and public open spaces with construction due to start in 2019.
The plans include infrastructure improvements including upgrades to Junction 10 of the M27.
Mr Thistlethwayte added: ‘Proactive engagement with the community during the development of our outline planning application has been very important to us.
‘We are set to continue this dialogue as the planning application progresses and future detailed plans develop.’