- People ought to be under no illusions; this New Town (between Fareham & Wickham) of 6,500 homes is a massive development, that will devour almost 1,000 acres of open countryside. Previously called “The New Community North of Fareham” it will have a huge and largely negative impact on Fareham (North/East), Funtley, Knowle & Wickham and frankly the so called, 50m wide “Existing Settlement Buffer Zones” are so small as to be derisory.
- One of the crucial aspects of this proposal is the very significant level of additional traffic that it will generate and the impact this will have on both the M27 and Fareham’s existing road network; both of which are already heavily congested. It is particularly disappointing therefore, that the proposals to mitigate this impact on local roads, focus almost exclusively on Bus priority measures; the effect of which, have in recent instances, actually made congestion worse! Congestion on the local roads around J10 is a very major concern and the massive expectation being placed on an unfunded Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, is bordering on the ridiculous.
- The importance of securing funding for the infrastructure to support development on this scale has been stressed many times over the past few years. In the same way that there appears to be no credible way forward for dealing with the traffic issue, there is little in the current proposals, that gives any degree of confidence that funding will be assured in order to satisfy the very significant levels of infrastructure provision that will be required. Whilst the Infrastructure funding strategy is a step in the right direction, firm assurances over infrastructure funding ought to be made an absolute pre-requisite before any development is approved; the debacle of “another Whiteley”, must be avoided at all costs.
- Now that the boundary of the development has finally been revealed, Fareham and other local Residents can now understand for the first time, the sheer enormity of what is being proposed. Additionally, it will allow the Environment Agency to conduct a detailed analysis of the downstream flooding risk, to both Wallington & Funtley. The flooding incident @ Wallington in Dec 2012 provided a stark reminder as to the importance of this particular issue.
- This proposed development has always been controversial and will, for many years, polarise opinion in Fareham because frankly, no one wants this “In their backyard”. From the outset, Fareham Residents were misled into thinking that this development was necessary in order to provide “affordable housing” for Fareham. This myth was however, finally exposed by the Planning Inspector at the Core Strategy Inquiry in 2011, when he made it abundantly clear, that this development was not just to satisfy Fareham’s requirement for “affordable housing”, but that of the wider South East Hants region.
- As a matter of principle, existing, local residents ought not to have their “quality of life” adversely affected by this, or indeed any other, proposed development. This new Town will adversely affect those in the immediate area and accordingly, were it to go ahead, residents will have a strong case for being given a significant reduction in their Council Tax payments.
On behalf of:
Wallington Village Community Association
The Fareham Society
Knowle Village Residents Association
Funtley Residents Association
The Wickham Society