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2,000 New Homes Planned for Fareham

A town in Hampshire will be receiving an additional 2,000 homes- mere months after the go-ahead was given for a controversial 6,000-home plan.

Council leaders in Fareham recently announced that the town has to find room for the extra housing to accommodate demand and prevent unwanted developments from being pushed upon them.

The news, however, has been greeted with hostility from those who accuse the Fareham council of reneging on a promise it made when approving a controversial 6,000-home development at Welborne last summer.

Angry protesters say that Welborne, which is located north of Fareham, was sold with the understanding that it would prevent further development from taking place in the area, and now housing developers would be making further inroads after council leaders declined to prohibit building in greenfield areas.

Councillor Sean Woodward, who leads the Fareham Borough Council, said that he anticipated rural locations being put forward for future development, but insisted that the plans were necessary, as the council needs to extend its future housing blueprint by another 10 years.

This will align it with the Welborne plan, which will run until 2036 due to its scale. This is 10 years after the current local plan comes to an end. The Welborne plan also includes shops, community facilities, and four schools. Nearly a third of the homes will be classed as ‘affordable’.

Community activist Sean Cunningham, who firmly opposed development in Fareham, said that residents had been misled by claims that building Welborne would solve local housing problems.

The 2,000-home figure was put together by Partnership for Urban South Hampshire, which consists of 12 local authorities. Each of these authorities will have to make provision for extra housing.

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Mr Cunningham accused Cllr Woodward of deceiving the people of Fareham, saying that as chairman of Partnership for Urban South Hampshire, he must have know what was going to happen.

He called for Cllr Woodward to make an apology, saying that the move was both shameful and appalling. “People will be aghast. He needs to make a public apology.’

Next month the Fareham Council will be calling on all people who own land in the borough to contact it if they would like their holdings to be considered for build sites.

When the Welborne plan was initially announced, residents in nearby villages complained that it would have a detrimental effect on the countryside. Councillor Woodward pointed out that local people need homes: in June 2015 there were 1,357 families on the housing waiting list. Without additional development, they will wait an average five years for a home.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England also argued that the scheme was "neither wanted or needed". A spokesperson warned that current residents of Fareham should get ready to face more traffic congestion, longer travel times, and increasing levels of air pollution.

In May an independent planning inspector approved two documents that outlined the planning policy, which paved the way for the council decision.

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