Local Issues

09 Jan


The infection rate in Fareham, even though it is below Hampshire as a whole as well as the rest of the country, continues to rise extremely rapidly. The statistics are here in detail brought up to date as of 3rd January. The trend for Fareham remains one of rapid increase and the areas with the highest number of COVID-19 infections are Sarisbury, Whiteley, Fareham Town and Portchester.
Many people have contacted me with many questions about the lockdown restrictions which I continue to answer to the best of my ability. It is however concerning that a number are about ways to circumvent the restrictions in place. The law is now clear – STAY AT HOME except for work, exercise and medical appointments. Other exceptions are just that – exceptions, not norms.
Please stay safe and remain in your bubbles. It is not the virus that travels around, it is the people spreading it.
04 Jan


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


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:
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.
• 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
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.

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.
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.
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.

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



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.