CAMPAIGNERS in the Wickham area have expressed concerns at the latest plan for a new town to be built there.

The Fareham Society, Wickham Society, local village residents’ associations and planning experts from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are unhappy about changes to the proposed boundary for Welborne, the new settlement to be built north of Fareham.

A meeting of the groups on April 30 saw unanimous agreement that traffic congestion, lack of funding for infrastructure, the risk of flooding and the impact on quality of life were the main concerns.

David Walton of Wallington Village Community Association said: “People ought to be under no illusions; this new town of 6,500 homes is a massive development that will devour almost 1,000 acres of open countryside. People should look at the boundary and understand the enormous impact that it will have on us.”

Caroline Dibden, of CPRE Hampshire, said: “The M27 is already almost at capacity, and plans to deal with extra traffic haven’t really been detailed. There is still concern over the possibility of settlements closing up, causing loss of green spaces, as the gaps appear almost non-existent in places.

“The latest document also has worrying statements on the viability of the affordable housing proportion, which is ironic, as this was one of the prime motivations for a new town. The much vaunted energy efficient measures seem also to have fallen by the wayside. We shall be attending the exhibitions in support of local community groups and commenting as more information becomes available.”