There is much to be admired about the proposed Welborne development, to be located on the Winchester side of the M27 near Wickham. Both Fareham Borough Council and the developer are to be applauded for their work on this scheme, which could deliver up to 6,000 new homes.

To date, it seems the main impediment to the development proceeding was the need to secure a commitment for the improvements to Junction 10 on the M27. Now that Hampshire County Council has agreed to take on responsibility for this, commencement is all the more likely.

However, the scheme does raise real concerns for residents in the Meon Valley. It is likely to lead to increased traffic on our roads, including the A32, and pressure on our infrastructure, such as schools and doctors surgeries.

Given this, it would be reasonable to assume that Winchester City Council would be actively engaged with Fareham Borough Council in relation to this.

After all, why wouldn’t it be looking out for the interests of its residents right across the district, not just in Winchester?

Well, I am afraid that assumption would be mistaken. Indeed, it seems that there have been no recent discussions with Fareham Borough Council about the site. This needs to change immediately with the impact assessed and the necessary steps taken to mitigate any adverse effects. This includes stopping any further allocation of housing to the Southern Parishes until the position is properly understood.

I appreciate that the staff numbers have been allowed to decrease under the current Administration and that their focus is on Central Winchester. But this must not be at the expense of council taxpayers outside the city. An urgent shift in priorities is needed.

Hugh Lumby,

Meon Valley division, Hampshire County Council,

Upper Meon Valley ward, Winchester City Council,

High Street,