A HAMPSHIRE MP has used a parliamentary speech to back a 6,000-home new town planned for the countryside.
Fareham has run out of brownfield sites and must look to green land for badly-needed new homes, the town’s MP said.
Mark Hoban said it was not “an easy decision” for people to accept the proposal to build a new settlement called Welborne, north of the M27.
But the Conservative backbencher argued that the plan would win widespread support – provided vital infrastructure was put in place early.
That includes a new four-way junction ten on the M27, which is a key part of a bid to the Government’s local growth fund.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hoban said: “As a community, we have now reached a decision point about how to accommodate current population growth and where new homes are built.
“How and where do we build the 6,000 homes that Fareham needs? Brownfield sites have largely been utilised, so Fareham faces significant challenges.”
Mr Hoban said that the creation of Welborne had been put forward in preference to “a ribbon of development along the A27”.
He said: “I am the first to acknowledge that that is not an easy decision for the communities that border the site, such as Funtley, the north of Fareham and Wickham.
“However, it is supported by the borough as a whole. Welborne will meet the borough’s housing needs.
“Without it, fewer people will get on the housing ladder, there will be significant upward pressure on house prices and more families will be forced to live in accommodation that is too small for them.”
Creating Welborne would also make it easier to “protect other sites from development” in his constituency.
Mr Hoban said: “An application to build in the gap between Fareham and Stubbington is less likely to succeed because we have a robust plan in place to meet housing demand in the borough.”
The MP said that plans were already in place for “community facilities, new schools and new GP surgeries” in Welborne.
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has put in a £90m bid to the local growth fund, with ministers due to make an announcement next month.
As reported by the Daily Echo last week, council chiefs have published a design brief for Welborne and residents have six weeks to have their say on the plan.
A public inquiry by an independent inspector will examine the details of the plan in late summer.