THE MP for Whiteley has said its population has been "let down" by bad planning.

Mark Oaten's comment came after a visit to Hampshire's newest mini-town to check on progress for a new church, doctor's surgery and school.

"The people of Whiteley have been let down at various points because there has not been enough joined-up thinking between the various authorities," he said.

"It is unfortunate Whiteley falls between Fareham council and Winchester City Council. It would be better if there was just one authority in charge."

More than 15 years after the first of the 2,000 homes went up in the purpose-built community off junction nine of the M27 there is still no permanent doctor's surgery or place of worship.

The primary school built to serve the community has also already failed to cope with the unexpected demand, causing 34 children to be turned away last year.

As previously reported in the Daily Echo it is a different scenario this year.

Many parents have opted to send their children to schools further afield rather than face a lengthy appeals process trying to get into Whiteley Primary.

"What happened last year shows the need for another primary school," said the Winchester MP.

"With so many new projects planned for Whiteley I believe they will only come to fruition if everyone works together - the church, the doctor's surgery and the school.

"Then Whiteley residents might at last see the projects come off the ground."

The temporary doctor's surgery in Yew Tree Drive is set to move into a purpose-built centre next to the community centre, subject to planning permission.

In the meantime the ecumenical congregation of Whiteley Community Church is busy raising the £800,000 needed to complete the church building project on land off Whiteley Way.

It is hoped building work will be able to start in 2005.

A Portsmouth Diocese bid for extra money to build a one-form entry primary school in the church grounds is under consideration by the Department for Skills and Education.