Local Issues

04 Jan

CONSULTATION STARTS ON REVISED WELBORNE PLANNING APPLICATION

Consultation starts today and runs to 25th January on revisions to the planning application for the
Welborne Garden Village after proposals emerged for the government and developers Buckland Development Limited(BDL) to plug a £40m shortfall in the budget to redevelop junction 10 of the M27.
The plan to create the 6,000-home Garden Village, to include schools, district shopping centres, a business park and health facilities had been in jeopardy after £25m funding from the Solent LEP towards creating an all-moves junction 10 on the M27 motorway expired last year when it could not be used in time due to the complexities involved in the scheme.
The planning application was originally approved in October 2019, subject to Buckland Development Limited (BDL) signing a Section 106 planning agreement to guarantee provision of the associated infrastructure improvements. The agreement was not signed after it became clear that the funding of the junction 10 improvements was increasingly uncertain. Funding for the junction improvements being in place is a pre-commencement condition that the council imposed on the planning consent.
After a year of negotiations with Fareham Borough Council, BDL, which originally pledged £20m towards the £75m cost of the junction 10 improvements, has agreed to double its contribution to £40m. Fareham Borough Council has also negotiated with the government to increase its contribution to the scheme from £10m to £30m.
That means the £75m cost of the upgrading of junction 10 can now be secured as £5m has already been funded by the government via the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership to complete the detailed design work and business case for the junction which is required not just to serve Welborne but also to aid the smooth running of the M27.
The additional early financial commitment being met by BDL has affected the early viability of the Welborne development as originally approved and the developers have therefore put forward further revisions to the planning application. The previously agreed scheme allowed for 10 per cent (600) affordable homes, with regular reviews during the 30 years of the development that could increase affordable home provision to bring it to the Welborne Plan requirement for 30 per cent. BDL has indicated it will maintain the initial 10 per cent affordable homes commitment but that the prospects of the profitability of the site enabling that figure to increase to 30 per cent will now be reduced. Any possible increases secured by the planning authority will be in the second half of the development, once 3,000 homes have been completed and the scheme becomes profitable. The revisions to the planning application are now subject to a new three-week consultation and will be brought back before the Council’s planning committee towards the end of January, when public consultation feedback will also be reported.
I am very pleased that after extensive negotiations with BDL and the government we are now on the brink of having the funding in place for the redevelopment of junction 10 of the M27, a key enabler for the Welborne Garden Village. The revised proposals from BDL will be subject to the scrutiny of public consultation for the next three weeks and will then be examined by the Planning Committee. If the application is approved later this month there are still a number of hurdles to overcome before work can begin. This is, however, a very significant and important step forward in the Welborne Garden Village delivery which will provide 6,000 much needed new homes, nearly 6,000 jobs as well as hundreds of millions of pounds worth of infrastructure such as schools, roads, open spaces, shopping and community facilities.
It has been a long and hard road to get to this point however it does seem that we are to expect a start on Welborne this year.
01 Jan

REASONS FOR OPTIMISM IN 2021

2020 has been the most appalling of years for many of us for many reasons. It is right that we look forward to 2021 in the most optimistic way possible and I am grateful to The News, Portsmouth
for offering me the opportunity on behalf of the residents of the Borough of Fareham to do just that.
We hope and pray that a robust vaccination programme will be put in place, particularly for our most vulnerable residents, in coming months otherwise there is little prospect of us emerging from this lockdown.
Looking forward to 2021 there are potentially a number of positives on the horizon for Fareham:
LEISURE CENTRES
Fareham Leisure Centre and Holly Hill Leisure Centre are between them having seven million pounds spent on significant improvements to these very popular fitness venues.
Fareham
• A ‘Top Rock’ climbing wall for children and adults set alongside a soft play area for younger users
• An indoor splash pad
• A large extension to the gym on the ground floor with windows opening onto the surrounding parkland
• Improvements to existing facilities such as the café, dry changing rooms and reception area
• Additional parking for 32 vehicles.
Holly Hill
• Addition of a steam room and sauna
WELBORNE
As one of the country’s largest developments this has certainly been a long time coming but as the legal agreements get signed and the funding is being put in place we should expect to see a start on much-needed homes for Fareham people including hundreds of millions of pounds worth of infrastructure such as schools, roads, open spaces, shopping and community facilities.
SOLENT AIRPORT

This has been a huge success story since

Fareham Borough Council

took ownership of

Solent Airport, Daedalus

in 2015 starting with the runway refurbishment without which the airport would have been closed to flying. Pictured with the intrepid Kimberley Barber from

The News, Portsmouth

who trusted me to take her aloft at the opening in March 2015

Investment in offices and workshops for local businesses will continue as interest grows in new businesses starting and existing businesses relocating to

Fareham Innovation Centre

Plus the letting of all of the hangars. We also intend improving the airport with runway lighting and instrument approach to aid safety and increase the variety of users. Our huge new open space – Daedalus Common – will also be opening to the public as a great recreational facility.

The National Grid UK IFA2 interconnector is also soon to start delivering power for over 1,000,000 homes.
ELECTIONS
May will see the postponed local elections taking place when residents will be asked to elect Borough Councillors, County Councillors and a new Police and Crime Commissioner.
OTHER PROJECTS
We will be constructing a new arts and entertainment facility – Fareham Live – on the site of the old Ferneham Hall as well as bringing the adjacent car park up to modern standards.
SHOP LOCAL

I believe that 2021 will be the year of the independent trader and we have many dozens of these in the western end of West Street including shops and cafes. Picture with the Mayor

Councillor Pamela Bryant

at

CrumbleJack

People seem prepared to go for good service more than cheap goods and as the large chain stores fail the independents will become staple as they were generations ago. I strongly encourage everyone to Shop Local and Eat Local during 2021 and see the difference it makes to the vibrancy of our town and village centres.

29 Dec

COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

I am so sorry to have to advise you that Keith lost a brief battle against COVID-19 on Sunday. You may be aware he has been very poorly for some time but unfortunately contracted the disease as a patient in Queen Alexandra Hospital on Tuesday and passed away on Sunday. I am sure many will join me in passing their kind thoughts to his family. Fortunately they were able to be with him for his last hours.
It has been a privilege to have known Keith for 33 years. He first stood and was elected for Sarisbury Ward in 1988 and has been a Councillor for 30 years having subsequently represented Locks Heath Ward on Fareham Borough Council . He was an excellent Executive Member for Planning and Development. He was elected to Hampshire County Council in 2005 and as he was Chairman of the River Hamble Harbour Board the flag above the Harbourmaster’s Office in Warsash is flying at half-mast today.
The Union Flag outside the Civic Offices in Fareham is being flown at half-mast today and tomorrow as a mark of respect. It will also be flown at half-mast on the day of Cllr Evans’s funeral, the date of which is yet to be confirmed.
I am extremely saddened by this news and will miss Keith terribly. We have worked closely together for the past three decades and he has been a valued member of the Executive and indeed a personal friend. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children at this very difficult time.