PLANS for a new railway station near Fareham are being developed, The News can reveal.
Network Rail is undertaking a scoping study into creating a two-platform station for the new town of Welborne.
It would be the first new railway station built in south east Hampshire since Hedge End station was opened in 1990.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said that the idea of a station for Welborne had always been ‘rebuffed’ until a recent meeting with Network Rail.
The station would initially connect to the Fareham-Eastleigh line and could be built near the former Knowle Halt station.
Councillor Woodward said: ‘I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that Network Rail was keen to do a study into bringing a station to Welborne.
I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that Network Rail were keen to do a study into bringing a station to Welborne.Councillor Sean Woodward
‘For years, I’ve always urged the possibility of a station but only now does this seem more of a possibility and it will be a great asset.’
Welborne, a planned 6,000-home development, has stalled in recent years with the council looking to push forward the town through compulsorily purchasing the land.
It believes its hand has been strengthened after the government said last month that the project was now categorised as a ‘Garden Village’.
Buckland Development, which represents the Southwick Estate, one of the major landowners of the Welborne site, is set to put in a planning application for the site soon.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: ‘We met Fareham Borough Council to discuss various options for connecting the new Welborne development to the existing railway network, and we have offered to work with the council to examine the situation in more detail over the coming months.’
Denis Fryer, co-ordinator for South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group, said: ‘With both the M27 and Fareham town centre prone to suffering road congestion, the proposed new station would make a useful addition to public transport in the area.’
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘A station would make a lot of sense.
‘The area is going to see major development and to support this it is vital there is the proper transport infrastructure.
‘This will be a huge benefit to the local community and businesses and will boost growth in the area.’