CALLS have been made for a Hampshire council leader to resign amid accusations he misled the public over a controversial new 6,000-home community.

Fareham Borough Council Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Paul Whittle says his political rival Sean Woodward, pictured below, should apologise and step down after council bosses said the borough will need to find land for a further 2,000 homes by 2036.

He said the council had justified the controversial new town at Welborne, to the north of Fareham, on the basis of no other development in the rest of the borough – a claim refuted by Cllr Woodward.

Fareham Borough Council has announced it needs to roll out its plans for future development in the borough which currently runs up to 2026 for another 10 years with an extra 2,000 homes.

Although Cllr Woodward says brownfield areas would be priority and the council would continue to defend the ‘strategic gaps’ between communities, greenfield development cannot be ruled out.

Cllr Whittle said Lib Dem councillors had opposed Welborne, “never believing that the promises could be guaranteed”.

He said: “That worst fear is now being realised. This demonstrates that the council leadership have completely misled everyone if other sites are now up for grabs for 2,000 more homes only a year after Welborne got the go-ahead.

“The council cannot have it both ways, arguing out of town development on greenfield countryside land at Welborne is the only solution because the traffic congestion and infrastructure is at breaking point and now say brownfield and other locations are available for 2,000 extra houses,” he added.

“This proposal would be a total disaster for Fareham Borough residents who already endure grid-locked roads and over-subscribed local health services.”

Cllr Woodward said: “Nobody ever suggested that in a decade that we would not need another house and I certainly never suggested that in a decade we wouldn’t be looking for any more houses.

“If we didn’t have Welborne we would lose every piece of green in the borough of Fareham – that’s what I’d said and I still say.”