Building work on first of 6,000 houses at Welborne development will start next week

A CGI image of the 'Dashwood' style of home planned for the Welborne development near Fareham in Hampshire.

Building work on the first houses at the new Welborne development near Wickham will begin next Wednesday after planning chiefs gave the green light to the first 363 homes.

The approved houses form part of what will be known as the Chesterfield and Dashwood neighbourhoods in the 6,000-home Welborne Garden Village development, north of Fareham.

Developers say it is a new generation of sustainable building for Hampshire and Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee has now approved plans for the first houses to be built, with the aim for the town to eventually be home to 15,000 people.

But a Wickham and Knowle parish councillor representing the Knowle residents said villagers’ concerns had fallen on deaf ears and concerns continue about a huge influx of patients at Wickham Surgery.

Councillor Susan Walker said: “To go back many years, many residents were very concerned about the prospect of Welborne. Now we see the designs coming in front of us, they are exceptional. It is something to be proud of at the planning committee to be supporting Buckland in delivering exceptionally designed properties”. 

Councillor Hockley said: “I am so delighted to see we are getting the start of affordable housing on the site. 19, [Dashwood] I am very happy about it.”

The homes will range from one to five bedrooms, including flats, terraced houses, semi-detached and detached two- to four-storey homes. 

Councillor Sean Woodward, Fareham Borough Council’s leader, said: “I proposed the building of the new community now known as Welborne Garden Village two decades ago. I am delighted that the vision of Buckland and Fareham Borough Council for an amazing 21st-century community in a very high-quality environment that will be green in every sense of the word will now see the first homes provided for local residents.

“It has always been important to me that Welborne provides the highest quality homes with all the required infrastructure, and it is great to see the earliest phase including the first of four schools, a doctors’ surgery, shops, parks and a pub.”

Six planning applications in total were approved including 363 houses divided into two applications. One, for 210 houses, was from Pye Homes with the other 153 to be built by Thakeham, Welborne’s house build partners in a joint venture with the master developer Buckland.

The Dashwood neighbourhood of 210 houses is in the ‘Garden City – Arts and Crafts’ and ‘Garden City – Queen Anne’ styles as set out in the neighbourhood and strategic design codes. They will mainly be 2.5-storey houses, with three-storey houses fronting onto the newly named  Dashwood Avenue. 

Chesterfield’s 153 houses are in a ‘Hampshire Formal’ and ‘Hampshire Vernacular’ styles with houses fronting onto the main Dashwood Avenue being three storeys in design. 

The houses are designed with chimneys but are not functional, a council officer told the meeting, but a flue for a log burner can be installed. Heating and lighting will be supplied by a modern ambient heating loop, approved by planners in December.

There was scrutiny over car parking spaces, the rendering to be used, and how pedestrians, cyclists and cars would have priority without signs on pathways and roads. The officer said that pedestrians had priority east-to-west and north-to-south traffic had priority. 

Committee chair Councillor Nick Walker (Conservative, Portchester West) said it would come down to common sense and if it got difficult, Buckland would need to put in signage. 

Wickham and Knowle parish councillor Loraine Rappe, representing the Knowle residents, the adjoining village to Welborne, spoke once at the hearing saying that villagers were disappointed not to be listened to by the planning committee over Knowle road and how changes could be managed. She said concerns had fallen on deaf ears.

Both Buckland developers said that they had listened to Knowle residents’ comments and taken them on board concerns about pollution, Knowle road’s speed limit and the removal of hedgerows by putting green verges, shrubs, hedges and tens of thousands of trees into plans and reducing the Knowle road speed limit to 30mph.

Developers said more than half of Welborne will be green space and no home will be more than 300 metres away from publicly accessible green space, including woodland, parks, allotments and sports facilities, totalling 180 hectares – equivalent to around 277 Wembley-sized football pitches.

After the meeting, Buckland’s managing director John Beresford said: “We are delighted with the positive comments we’ve heard from the council. We do hear the Knowle residents and listen to the comments they make. There are a lot of people in Knowle that are quite anti but when they see what’s coming out of the ground I think they’ll be very pleased with what we are doing.”

Mark Thistlethwayte, chairman of Buckland Group, said: “The Knowle residents have in some ways been quite helpful because they point to some of the issues that not only matter to them but to others. Our challenge over the last 18 years has been to put something that will withstand all the criticism and questions over the years ahead and so people can take pride in what comes out next time. We have already put in 1000’s of trees and there are tens of thousands still to come. 

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