PLANS for a new 6,000-home town are set to take a major leap forward after a judge ordered that around 400 acres of land be put up for sale for £35m.
Following a case at the High Court in London, vital land needed for the Welborne development was placed on the open market in order to speed up delivery of the new town.
We have reconfirmed our offer to purchase Dean Farm which will enable BDL to progress its comprehensive site development plansMark Thistlethwayte, principal of Buckland Development Limited
Buckland Development Limited, which represents landowners the Southwick Estate and the Benge family, says it now hopes to buy the land – Dean Farm, near Wickham – and finally submit an outline planning application for the town to Fareham Borough Council in the near future.
Mark Thistlethwayte, principal of BDL, said: ‘BDL has noted the High Court’s ruling, confirming that Dean Farm will be sold on the open market to enable the Welborne development to go ahead.
‘We have reconfirmed our offer to purchase Dean Farm, which will enable BDL to progress its comprehensive site development plans.’
The court case concerned the Benge family, one of the major landowners of the site touted to become Welborne.
Welborne supporter Glynne Benge took his siblings, Nigel Benge and Christina Hall, to court in a bid to buy them out of Dean Farm, which they own. Nigel and Christina did not want to sell the land.
But Murray Rosen QC’s ruling was that the land should be put on the open market for £35m.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham council, welcomed the ruling.
The authority had begun the process to compulsorily purchase the land earlier this year in order to speed up construction.
Cllr Woodward said the order was ‘a positive step’ in terms of Welborne’s future.
He said: ‘I take this as a positive step in terms of all the land now being made available for Welborne.
‘This time last year, it was an entirely different situation and it prevents the stalemate situation from continuing.
‘Hopefully, with this order, a proposal can now be put on the table with all the land needed for development.’
Welborne was first put forward as an idea in 2004, but it took until June, 2015 for a planning inspector to give the scheme permission.