Welborne - Fareham's New Town!
Despite the 2011 'Stop Fareham New Town' campaign (see below) the Borough council is going ahead with plans for its development, one of two 'strategic development areas' first mooted a few years ago. The one at Hedge End has been abandoned, at least for now - see press release (July 2010). In late April 2013 the council produced its first draft plan for the town that is now to be called Welborne, and will be developed between 2015 and 2036. This was consulted on in Spring 2013. A further round of consultation on the published plan took place from February to April 2014 prior to it being submitted for independent examination by a planning inspector later in 2014. In its response to this latest consultation CPRE Hampshire have welcomed the reduction in total housing to 6,000 dwellings but continue to have concerns about:
- Lack of reliable detail on some key infrastructure issues
- Lack of progress on the transport strategy; particular concerns about traffic going north into the South Downs National Parkffic generation
- Cross-boundary issues with Winchester in the Knowle triangle; the need for semi-green buffers between settlements
- A drop in the provision of affordable housing to 30%
- Under-provision of green infrastructure, biodiversity and landscape
- Potential light pollution from the Eastern edge having an adverse impact on the National Park
- No real solutions to an adequate supply of water, handling of wast water and currently no flood risk assessment.
Further information on our responses to both consulations can be found below:
- Submission to February-April 2014 consultation - our detailed 22 page response (PDF).
- Press release of 30th April 2013 our input to the 2013 consultation.
The sections below show how these plans and our campaign has evolved since 2010.
Why We Wanted It Stopped
These are the arguments that the coalition of 32 organisations (including CPRE Hampshire) in the 'Stop Fareham New Town' campaign put forward in 2011:
- It would in-fill the only piece of open countryside between Wickham and Fareham with a town similar in size to Petersfield.
- CPRE advocates a common sense approach that 75% of development should be on brownfield sites before greenfield land is considered.
- The need for this development (a town larger than Petersfield) has not been justified
- The alternative options have not been properly examined
- Consultation has been inadequate.
Until CPRE and SHUV raised the profile of the proposals many locals were not aware of the plans and following the great public concern we had to print thousands more postcards to meet the demand in our postcard campaign. Please donate to this campaign as it reaches a new, and more expensive, phase. Download donation form (PDF).
Campaigners keep fighting as Inspector gives the 'green light'
CPRE Hampshire and other members of the campaign have vowed to fight on for quality of life and protection of grade A farmland that could be affected by a new Strategic Development Area north of Fareham. They have given a cautious welcome to the Government Inspector's guidance on environmental protection for the local area, but say there are still major uncertainties over budgeting and planning of traffic, transport and schools.
Campaigners call for Public Inquiry to Stop Fareham New Town
Seven separate submission documents have been handed in to Fareham Borough Council with evidence to show that the Core Strategy for the borough is 'unsound', and calling for a Public Inquiry into how the council's consultation process has been handled. The image above shows how a development might look, north of the M27. At the moment this area contains fine agricultural land and a 'green lung' valued by local residents.
CPRE Responds to Fareham Borough Council's Consultation (Jan 2011)
On 31st January, CPRE Hamphire submitted a detailed 39-page response to the consultation on Fareham's core strategy, which includes the proposed SDA (Strategic Development Area). The submission covered three main areas:
- The Core Strategy is not justified - it is not based on robust evidence and there has not been adequate public consultation
- The Core Strategy is not effective - it is not deliverable, is not flexible and cannot be monitored
- The Core Strategy is not consistent with national and regional policy.
Read the full submission (PDF: 1.16Mb)
1,400 Residents Sign Petition (Jan 2011)
Councillors Paul Whittle (left) and Nick Gregory with the petition they have received from 1,400 of their local residents. The petition declares: "We, the undersigned call on Fareham Borough Council to REFUSE to back plans for 7,000 homes filling in the gap between our town, Wickham and Knowle village. 7,000 homes could mean 14,000 more cars on local roads and 20,000 people using local schools, doctors and services."
Vote of No Confidence from Wallington Village Community Association (Jan 2011)
In a 7-point letter to Councillor Swanbrow of Fareham Borough Council (FBC), the Association decries the lack of proper consultation on the North Fareham SDA. It says that FBC "has taken scant regard of the issues and concerns raised in the Community Liaison Group forum over the past 18 months." Since the Borough Council has not convened a meeting of the Forum since July 2010, the Community Group held its own meeting and They decided against resigning en masse from the forum, but recorded instead a unanimous Vote of "No Confidence" over the manner in which FBC has both handled and consulted on the SDA thus far."
So Much For Public Consultation (Jan 2011)
In a press release of 29th December, CPRE said how shocked they were that Fareham Borough Council "had pulled the plug on an live online survey." In withdrawing the survey, the Council said: "We feel we have no option but to re-launch the consultation, and disregard the responses provided on the draft Corporate Vision and Objectives so far." CPRE says that the Council has failed to take account of the views of residents of those in the villages of Knowle and Wickham who feel disenfranchised from the survey process as they are in Winchester City District. The consultation relaunch takes place on 4th January.
Watch this space, and be prepared to respond!
Update (Nov 2010)
On 18th November Fareham Borough Council voted to approve its local development framework core strategy, including the North Fareham Strategic Development Area. In the main vote, 18 Tories voted in favour of endorsing the document and subsequently the proposal for a new Town of 6,000-7,000 homes. The Lib Dem group, plus Tory councillors John Bryant and Pam Bryant for Fareham North, a total of 10 voted against it and councillor Tim Knight abstained.
To date, Fareham Borough Council has received approximately 1,000 objections and over 700 postcards have been received by the government housing minister, all opposing the SDA.
The fight is far from over and CPRE and SHUV (South Hampshire's Unheard Voices) are now taking time to consider the best way forward. The Core Strategy document (which includes the new Town proposal) will have to go to an Examination in Public (EiP), so our focus now turns to this. It is crucial that we launch a coordinated and strong campaign if we are going to challenge proposals effectively.
Act Now to Stop This Happening!
CPRE is launching a new postcard campaign on behalf of South Hampshire's Unheard Voices (SHUV), an alliance of over 35 organisations, with the aim of stopping this development. CPRE and SHUV are asking you to send a postcard, as a matter of urgency, to the Minister for Housing and Local Government. You can order some from CPRE on Tel. 01962 841897 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caroline Dibden of CPRE South Hampshire, who helps to organise SHUV, said:
"We are asking people to send the postcard to Mr Shapps, to convince him that we have a constructive view and there needs to be more consultation of local communities. We also want more organisations and parish councils to join us so that we can speak with 'one voice' on the issue of development in the South Hampshire region."
See image of the postcard (PDF).
There is also a Google Group for this campaign. To join, please email SHUVemail@example.com.
The proposed Strategic Development Area (SDA) is left-over from the former South East Plan that is now defunct under the new Government. CPRE and other organisations believe that Fareham Borough Council is forging ahead with the planned town without proper consultation of those most affected. The development would in-fill the only piece of open countryside between Wickham and North Fareham, with its southern border at the M27. Transport, access, flooding and infrastructure would be key concerns as well as worries that the character of one of Hampshire's remaining rural market towns will be destroyed.
Further information and a map showing the area can be seen on p.16 of North of Fareham Strategic Development Area: Position Statement (PDF).
- Country-born campaigners respond to plans for new town - Press Release (30 April 2013)
- Campaigners call for Public Inquiry to Stop Fareham New Town - Press Release (15 February 2011)
- Hundreds of residents sign petition to Stop Fareham New Town - Press Release (25 January 2011)
- "Stop Fareham New Town" campaigners shocked by Council withdrawal of public survey - Press Release (29 December 2010)
- Wallington Village joins SHUV in campaign against new town - Press Release (15 November 2010)
- Follow-up letter from SHUV to Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP: following a meeting of the SDA Community Liaison Group, this letter expresses the feeling that the local community does not feel that its concerns are recognised, or worse, that they are recognised but ignored by Fareham Borough Council - Read letter (12 October 2010) (PDF).
- SHUV letter to Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, calling for proper local consultation on the SDA proposals - read letter (21 Sept 2010) (PDF).
- Response to Initial Consultation on Emerging Transport Strategy - Read letter.
- People from 10 more towns and villages join postcard campaign - Press Release (9 November 2010)
- CPRE launches postcard campaign to save landscape between Wickham and Fareham - Press Release (18 October 2010)
- CPRE SHUV alliance calls for new town to be dropped - Press Release (3 August 2010)
- CPRE applauds decision to halt Strategic Development Area - Press Release (21st July 2010)
- Letter to PUSH (Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) calling on them to seek a new mandate for its position - Read letter (6th July 2010) (PDF).
- CPRE South Hampshire Group pushes back - Press Release (5th July 2010)
This page last updated 14th April 2014.
- CPRE response (Apr 2014)
- Press release (Apr 2013)
- Press release (Aug 2011)
- Is this the Big Society? (article)
- Press release (Aug 2011)
- Press release (Feb 2011)
- CPRE detailed submission (Jan 2011) (PDF:1.6Mb)
- Campaign postcard (PDF)
- South Hampshire's Unheard Voices (SHUV)
- Press release (Nov 2010)
- Other major developments
- Get involved
- Published Welborne plan
- Draft Welborne plan
- Welborne consultation
- The Fareham Society
- Wallington Village Community Association
- Knowle Village Residents Association
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